Traditional Anzac Day fixture set for 17th edition

Traditional Anzac Day fixture set for 17th edition

The traditional Anzac Day fixture between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters is set for its 17th edition this week at Allianz Stadium.

The Dragons and Roosters traditional fixture will be the crown jewel of the NRL's Anzac Round across Round 8 of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season.

Having met 16 times on Anzac Day since 2002, the Dragons have won 10 of the traditional fixtures with the Roosters winning six, including a thrilling golden point 13-12 victory in 2017.

Dragons winger Jason Nightingale – who will play in the traditional fixture for a record-equalling 11th time – is anticipating another brilliant spectacle between the two teams, who are currently entrenched within the NRL Telstra Premiership's top eight.

"The traditional Anzac Day fixture has always been a big occasion for the Dragons and Roosters, and this season will be no different," Nightingale said.

"From the moment you walk out of the sheds, the emotion of the day overcomes you and that's certainly reflected on the field in terms of toughness, physicality and the will to win on such a special day."
Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner spoke about the honour of playing on Anzac Day.

"The honour of playing on a day of such national importance isn't lost on any of the players involved," Cordner said.

"Having both teams walk out together, lining up and hearing the Last Post and anthems, there's definitely a lot more emotion. It's a special day and a special game to be a part of," he added.

Another huge crowd is anticipated at Allianz Stadium on Anzac Day, and the Dragons and Roosters have encouraged fans to pre-purchase their tickets from Ticketek.

The 2018 Official Anzac Ceremony will kick-off the formal proceedings at 3:30pm on the day, which will include the Anzac trophy being delivered by club greats Ben Creagh and Anthony Minichiello as well as the Royal Australian Navy Band, Australian Light Horse Association, the Last Post and both the New Zealand and Australian national anthems.

The Man of the Match at the conclusion of the game will receive the Ashton-Collier Spirit of Anzac Medal.

The traditional Anzac Day clash between the Dragons and Roosters is not the only game on show on Anzac Day in 2018 however.

The Australian Defence Force rugby league side will clash against their New Zealand Defence Force counterparts at 1:15pm.

Traditional Anzac Day fixture results (since 2002) –
2002: Sydney Roosters 24-20 St George Illawarra (Crowd: 20,578)
2003: St George Illawarra 24-20 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 26,014)
2004: Sydney Roosters 11-8 St George Illawarra (Crowd: 26,246)
2005: St George Illawarra 26-24 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 32,270)
2006: St George Illawarra 22-12 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 31,105)
2007: Sydney Roosters 18-4 St George Illawarra (Crowd: 18,240)
2008: St George Illawarra 26-6 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 21,596)
2009: St George Illawarra 29-0 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 28,926)
2010: St George Illawarra 28-6 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 36,212)
2011: St George Illawarra 24-10 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 34,976)
2012: St George Illawarra 28-24 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 40,164)
2013: Sydney Roosters 34-10 St George Illawarra (Crowd: 40,752)
2014: Sydney Roosters 34-14 St George Illawarra (Crowd: 38,784)
2015: St George Illawarra 14-12 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 35,110)
2016: St George Illawarra 20-18 Sydney Roosters (Crowd: 34,483)
2017: Sydney Roosters 13-12 St George Illawarra in golden point (Crowd: 40,864)

Ashton-Collier Spirit of Anzac Man of the Match Medallists –
2010: Darius Boyd (St George Illawarra)
2011: Darius Boyd (St George Illawarra)
2012: Ben Hornby (St George Illawarra)
2013: Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)
2014: Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters)
2015: Benji Marshall (St George Illawarra)
2016: Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra)
2017: Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)