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10 Aussie sports titles to celebrate finals weekend

Get the ball rolling and warm up for finals week with these Screen Australia-funded films, TV series and documentaries.

Both the AFL and NRL grand finals are almost here and to celebrate this huge weekend (24-25 October) of sport, we have put together a list of 10 Aussie sports titles to get you in the mood. Saturday will see the Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats go head-to-head for the AFL Premiership in Brisbane, before the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm battle it out on Sunday in Sydney for the top gong.

Check out the content below on women’s cricket, Aussie horse-racing hero Michelle Payne, car and motorcycle racing and plenty more covering both footy codes.

All titles can be streamed, purchased or rented online.

And if you can’t get enough sport this year, keep an eye out for more upcoming sports documentaries including: Girls Can’t Surf, Phil Liggett: The Voice of Cycling and The Fight Together.

1. The Australian Dream

Adam Goodes sits with his eyes closed in front of a fire in documentary The Australian Dream

Following the remarkable story of AFL legend Adam Goodes, and written by award-winning journalist Stan Grant, The Australian Dream explores race, identity and belonging in Australia today. This documentary unpacks the events of the 2013-15 AFL seasons and asks fundamental questions about Australia’s relationship with racism and explores Goodes’ own journey in a tale of resilience, survival and the fight for equality.

Purchase or rent on iTunes here, Google Play here or Telstra TV here

2. Beyond the Boundary: Inside the Battle for the Ashes 2019

The Australian Women's cricket team

This two-part series takes us inside the Australian Women’s Cricket team’s successful 2019 Ashes campaign against England in one of sport’s biggest rivalries. We are given unique access to change rooms and team meetings that provides insight into the inner workings of the team. As well as interviews with players and coaches, Beyond the Boundary shows first-hand the highs and lows of these 15 cricketers, from injury scares, form slumps and huge expectations to the thrills of winning, a strong team spirit and the exciting rise of the women’s game. 

Watch on Kayo here

3. Brock

Motor racing driver Peter Brock wearing a red helmet sits in the front seat of a car

Two-part TV drama Brock is based on the life of motor racing driver Peter Brock, from his early racing days to his tragic death in Perth. It charts his soaring career highs (nine Bathurst and nine Sandown victories) propelled by a raw natural talent, and the lows of his personal life, including broken marriages, affairs, domestic violence accusations, his public split from Holden and the Polariser controversy. Matthew Le Nevez stars as Peter Brock alongside Brendan Cowell and Ella Scott Lynch in this action-packed series of an Australian sporting hero.

Watch Brock on Amazon here

And be sure to check out documentary Brock: Over the Top, directed by Kriv Stenders and chronicling the extraordinary life of Peter Brock and the human story behind the legend. It will be airing on ABC on 3 November or rent/purchase on iTunes here

4. Chasing Comets

A man wearing a rugby uniform sits on the grass on an oval

Comedy drama Chasing Comets follows the on and off-field life of Chase, an aspiring rugby league player. The film is set in Wagga Wagga, a country town divided over its loyalty for rival codes AFL and NRL, and is loosely based on the life of writer, producer and former footballer Jason Stevens. When Chase’s dream to play NRL and his relationship with Brooke starts to fall by the wayside, Chase decides to take a leap of faith to turn his life around.

Watch Chasing Comets on Stan here

5. The Merger

A man wearing an AFL jersey stands with his hands on his hips

Based on comedian Damian Callinan’s acclaimed stage show of the same name, The Merger is an offbeat comedy based in the fictional regional town of Bodgy Creek. Callinan stars as the lead protagonist Troy Carrington, a former Aussie Rules legend turned grassroots activist who’s living a reclusive life when Angie (Kate Mulvany) approaches him to save their local AFL team, the Bodgy Creek Roosters. The pair recruit recently resettled refugees to help bring the club back to life, but their plan is met with hostility and disbelief by the town’s people. Can Troy’s good intentions for the Roosters succeed in the face of racism and xenophobia?

Purchase or rent The Merger on iTunes here or Google Play here

6. Playing for Keeps

The cast of Playing For Keeps gather in the stand of a sport stadium

If you’re on the hunt for a series about sport and drama with a side of glamour and fashion, then look no further than Playing for Keeps, a series about the women behind the men on the footy field. The TV drama centres on the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of the players of the fictional AFL team, the Southern Jets. In episode one, we’re introduced to country girl Paige Dunkeley from rural Victoria, who moves with her AFL star boyfriend to Melbourne and its world of elite sport.  From affairs, faux pas, rumours and business opportunities to addressing issues of heartache, mental health, racism and sexism, check out this addictive Aussie Rules series now.

Purchase both seasons of Playing for Keeps on Telstra TV here

7. Power Meri

The PNG Orchids rugby team line up on the field before their game

This feature documentary follows Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby league team, the PNG Orchids, on their inspirational journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia. Power Meri not only tells the story of the team’s inception to the world stage and their sporting talents, but also highlights how these pioneering players are overcoming barriers of national prejudice, a lack of funding, widespread sexism and extreme gender inequality.

Power Meri will air on Wednesday 28 October on NITV at 9.30pm AEST and will be available for 30 days online after the broadcast on SBS On Demand

8. Ride Like a Girl

Teresa Palmer as Michelle Payne is sitting on a horse. One of her arms is raised in celebration.

Rachel Griffiths made her directing debut last year with Ride Like a Girl, based on the inspirational true story of jockey Michelle Payne, the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup. Starring Teresa Palmer, Sam Neill and Magda Szubanksi, the biopic begins from Payne’s childhood as the youngest of ten in a horse-racing obsessed family. It follows her journey to success against all odds, from family tragedies and sexism in a male-dominated sport, to a catastrophic fall and eventually, the 2015 Melbourne Cup victory (beating 100-1 odds). The final race scene is a must-watch.

Purchase or rent Ride Like a Girl on iTunes here or Google Play here

9. The Warriors

A man stands at a lectern, he has his jacket pulled open showing his AFL jersey

Created by Tony Briggs and Robert Connelly, this eight-part TV drama explores the elite world of professional AFL. It follows four mischievous rookies who have been picked to play for fictional team The Warriors as they experience the highs, lows and the funny situations in-between while trying to prove themselves worthy recruits. Two of these players are Zane and Maki, who move from their remote communities to Melbourne, where their lives are turned upside-down as they struggle being dislocated from their traditional values. With Indigenous representation in front of and behind the camera, this series is well worth a watch.

Purchase The Warriors series on Telstra TV here or Google Play here

10. Wayne

A man on a motorcycle

Directed by Jeremy Sims, Wayne is the true story of Wayne Gardner, the larrikin kid from Wollongong who became the first Australian to win the World Motorcycle Grand Prix in 1987, and with it the hearts of the nation. The remarkable tale documents Wayne’s rise, from racing a $5 dirt bike to reaching the pinnacle of his sport, with girlfriend and loyal supporter Donna Forbes always by his side. It takes us inside the exhilarating world of MotoGP, with reels of race footage and brutal crashes alongside interviews with former ‘golden age’ legends.

Purchase or rent Wayne on YouTube here, iTunes here or Google Play here