The stage is set for the biggest game of the regular season when the St George Illawarra Dragons take on the Sydney Roosters in the annual Anzac Day clash at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. Here are five things to keep an eye out for during the match.
"It's like a final in the middle of the season".
That's how Dragons forward Tyson Frizell described Thursday's big occasion and it is easy to see why.
Over 40,000 people watched the Dragons claim a resounding 24-8 victory last year, helping add to the Dragons' recent run of victories on April 25th. The Dragons have won three of the past four Anzac Day matches and will be looking to ensure that trend continues.
One of the special aspects of the Anzac Day match is the respect and reverence that is shown during the pre-match ceremony.
This year will feature Army Cadets, renditions from the Royal Australian Navy band, vehicles, and catafalque party before a moving minutes silence heard around Australia will fall across the SCG. The 20-minute ceremony starts at 3:50pm prior to the match.
Sydney Cricket Ground
The historic Sydney Cricket Ground will be the stage for Thursday's fixture with a large crowd expected to come to witness the spectacle.
The St George Illawarra Dragons have enjoyed varied success at the ground, winning eight of 15 matches but falling short in their most recent visit, losing by two points against the Rabbitohs in 2017.
You need to wind the clock back to 2010 – a year Dragons fans will remember fondly – to find the last time the Dragons played the Roosters at the SCG. The Dragons won the crucial meeting 19-12 in what proved to be a grand final rehearsal.
Graham v Hargreaves
While both sides boast plenty of firepower on the flanks, the battle between English representative James Graham and New Zealand enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will be one to keep an eye on.
The passionate forwards are known for making things personal and refusing to take a backward step. Graham stood up in the dying stages last week to inspire the Dragons to a last gasp victory over the Sea Eagles, while Hargreaves hit form with a try against the Storm. Expect the pair to come face-to-face on more than one occasion.
Traveling away from the familiarity of your home ground to play at different stadiums is tough for most teams. But Thursday's match will see nine of the Dragons' team play at the SCG for the very first time.
Jordan Pereira, Mikaele Ravalawa, Corey Norman, Ben Hunt, James Graham, Blake Lawrie, Jeremy Latimore, Zac Lomax and Luciano Leilua will experience the SCG for the very first time.
However, they have the experience of Tyson Frizell (five appearances), Cameron McInnes (four), Tim Lafai (three), Euan Aitken (two), Matt Dufty (one), Paul Vaughan (one), Jacob Host (one) and Tariq Sims (one) who have all played matches at the ground.