One of Australia’s biggest traditions continues this week with a big weekend of sport to commemorate the centenary of the ANZACs landing in Gallipoli.
The NRL includes a full day of rugby league headlined by the annual clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters. The Collingwood Magpies will battle the Essendon Bombers at the MCG.
The NRL will feature five matches on Saturday with the main event being the clash between the Dragons and the Roosters, where the 2013 champion Roosters will be playing for Bob Tidyman. Foundation player, Tidyman was one of the first ever players to represent the club and unfortunately died in battle in 1916.
Both clashes are considered to be two of the biggest fixtures in Australian sport. Fairfax Media journalist Peter FitzSimons recently wrote an article regarding the importance of the matches in Australia.
FitzSimons asked: “In what other country on earth could you have 90,000 sports fans in a stadium, before an important match, fall so completely and reverentially silent?”
“And yes, many of them were AFL, league and union players, together with cricketers and all the rest who would never return to Australian shores to play again, but on Anzac Day, of course, we remember them all.”
Before the match, the Last Post will be played, the flag will be raised to half-mast and close to 100,000 people will stand in complete silence to remember to sacrifices made by soldiers.
The NSW Waratahs will meet the Melbourne Rebels in their first ANZAC Day clash. Current members of the Australian Defence Force and their families will be given free entry to the match while 25 per cent of tickets bought with the code LEGACY2015 online will go to Legacy Sydney.
Over in New Zealand the Warriors will clash with the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL while two Australian teams will play two New Zealand teams in the Super Rugby tonight, with the Western Force and ACT Brumbies facing the Chiefs and the Highlanders respectively. – Chris Matthews-Darby
Top photo from Naparazzi’s Flickr photostream.