24 April 2019
Old rivalry new respect, this Anzac Day
One of the biggest dates on the NRL calendar returns to the SCG on Thursday when the Sydney Roosters take on the St George Illawarra Dragons for the Anzac Day Cup. The NRL reintroduced the match as a marquee event in the calendar in 2002.
Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis AM recognised the history both clubs share with the SCG and was pleased to partner with the Dragons and SCG to ensure the traditional Anzac Day fixture remains within the Moore Park precinct in the coming years.
“This is the 17th year that the Roosters and Dragons have featured in the traditional Anzac Day fixture,” Politis said last year.
“While we look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to a new world-class Allianz Stadium from 2022 onwards, it’s wonderful that in the interim, the traditional Anzac Day match will be played at the spiritual home of rugby league.’
“The Sydney Cricket Ground has been home to some of the most iconic moments in the history of not only the Roosters and Dragons, but also the game of rugby league.
“We are delighted to enter this partnership with the Dragons and SCG to ensure that this traditional Anzac Day fixture remains in the SCfor the next three years.”
The first matches held on Anzac Day took place in 1927 when there was a full round of premiership games played at various Sydney venues (including the SCG, North Sydney Oval, Wentworth Park and Earl Park, Arncliffe).
Western Suburbs played Glebe at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Anzac Day, 1927 and Wests won 12-4. There has since been a total of 38 Anzac Day games played at the SCG, the last in 1986 when Canterbury played South Sydney. Canterbury won 26-2.
With the approval of the RSL and the Australian Defence Force, the SCG struck the first Spirit of Anzac Medal in 2010, an honour given to the player who best typifies the Anzac Spirit in the annual clash (man of match).
In 2012, it was renamed the Ashton Collier Spirit of Anzac Medal in tribute to club greats and WWII veterans, the late Bill Collier (as premiership winner in 1941 with St George) and the late Ferris Ashton, who played eight Tests during a glittering career with the Roosters.
Last year with a record crowd of 41,142 supporters at Allianz Stadium the Dragons defeated the Roosters 24-8 after a man of the match performance from Tyson Frizell.
The Roosters are the form side of the competition but will need to be at their best for this blockbuster rugby league showdown.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first time that the Dragons and Roosters played on an Anzac Day at the SCG.
Tickets to the ANZAC Day match can be purchased here