The 2023 NRL draw is here and April 25 is a day which must be circled in the rugby league calendar.
Round 8 will see the traditional Anzac Day clashes between the Roosters and Dragons return to Allianz Stadium on Tuesday afternoon before attention will shift to AAMI Park where Storm will go head-to-head with the Warriors.
The two matches will round out a big weekend of football spanning from Thursday to Tuesday, including the annual Eels and Broncos clash in Darwin on Friday.
But all eyes will no doubt be cast on the 21st ANZAC Day match between the Dragons and Roosters who will return to the rebuilt Sydney Football Stadium – Allianz – for the first time since 2018.
That year, it was Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop who led the Dragons to a 24-8 triumph over their hosts, who went on to win the 2018 NRL premiership.
Hunt extends Dragons lead before halftime
Thursday, April 20
7.50pm - Rabbitohs v Panthers at Accor Stadium
Friday, April 21
8.00pm - Eels v Broncos at TIO Stadium
Saturday, April 22
5.30pm - Bulldogs v Sharks at Accor Stadium
7.35pm - Cowboys v Knights at Qld Country Bank Stadium
Sunday April 23
2.00pm - Dolphins vs Titans at Suncorp Stadium
4.05pm - Wests Tigers vs Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium
Tuesday April 25
4.00pm - Roosters vs Dragons at Allianz Stadium
7.00pm - Storm vs Warriors at AAMI Park
Match Highlights: Dragons v Roosters
ANZAC Day Moments
- In 2005, Dragons No.7 Mathew Head came up with two massive plays to bring the Dragons back from the brink. First, he produced a pinpoint chip and regather before sending centre Matt Cooper over in the corner to level the scores. Then with two minutes left on the clock, it was Head who kicked a magnificent sideline conversion to seal a 26-24 win.
- A Mitchell Pearce field goal handed the Sydney Roosters a 13-12 golden point win over St George in a 2017 Anzac Day thriller.
Rd 8: FIELD GOAL Mitchell Pearce (84th min)
- In the 2009, the scores were locked up 14-14 at full-time between the Storm and Warriors. After rival halfbacks Stacey Jones and Cooper Cronk both traded unsuccessful field goals it was Lance Hohaia who punted the ball between the posts. However, the play was reviewed and the field goal was disallowed because of a knock-on by Jones at dummy half. The inaugural ANZAC clash ended in a draw.
- In 2015 a ferocious Sydney storm descended onto the SFS with lightning and hail causing the game to stop in the 27th minute. Once play resumed 30 minutes later, the Dragons went on to steal a narrow 14-12 victory.
History of the ANZAC Day clashes
The first ANZAC Day rugby league game was played in 1927 between Glebe and Western Suburbs, but the now traditional clash is between St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters.
St George and Eastern Suburbs clashed on ANZAC Day in 1959, 1961, 1978, 1979, and since 2002, have created one of the most exciting matches on the calendar.
Since 2009, the Storm and Warriors have also met on ANZAC Day, as both Australia and New Zealand pay their respects to the fallen soldiers.
The Dragons hold a 12-8 win record over the Roosters since 2002 but the Tricolours have a slight edge more recently, winning three of the past five matches.
Storm hold a 9-2 win record over the Warriors since 2009, winning the most recent clash 70-10 at AAMI park.
Flying Coates with a fabulous fourth