Morris To Raise The Bat On Good Friday
It mightn't be the most significant milestone of the year, but Bulldogs centre Josh Morris is set to play his 100th game at ANZ Stadium when Canterbury takes on the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the traditional Good Friday clash.
Morris played a handful of games at the venue in his first two seasons at the Dragons but has called ANZ Stadium home since moving to the Bulldogs in 2009.
The 30-year-old has crossed for 56 tries at the venue and has some special memories playing for the Blues at State of Origin level, but there's one moment that truly stands out for the former representative centre.
Back in 2010, Morris crossed for four tries against the Roosters in his side's 60-14 win in Round 3, with his third try of the afternoon going viral – not due to a piece of individual brilliance – but because of a mistake by opposition prop Martin Kennedy.
The former Rooster was set to receive a pass from Mitchell Pearce, but the kick-off return didn't go to plan after Kennedy slipped in the in-goal, allowing Ben Roberts to pick up the loose ball and offload it to Morris who spun out of three tackles to score his third try of the half.
"Hopefully we can celebrate it with a win!" a surprised Morris said when informed of his impending milestone.
"There have probably been a couple of games there [that have stood out]. I got four tries one day there against the Roosters – that was pretty special.
"I still have a laugh about it every now and then. Poor Martin Kennedy probably doesn't like me about it. It was just one of those days where the ball bounced my way. That doesn't happen too often so you remember those days."
Milestones aside, the game against South Sydney is shaping as a crucial contest between two sides whose for and against is separated by just four points.
The Good Friday clash has been an annual fixture between these sides since 2012, with Morris likening the atmosphere at ANZ Stadium to finals footy.
Few can forget the drama-filled match back in 2015 when Bryson Goodwin slotted a last-gasp penalty goal to seal a one-point win after Adam Reynolds had been injured whilst attempting a field goal, and it's those moments that make this Friday unmissable viewing for the fans.
"There's a definite rivalry there with Souths, and since the Grand Final in 2014 it's only amplified. I think most Bulldogs and Souths players look forward to that Good Friday game," Morris said.
"Good Friday matches have always lived up to the hype so no doubt next Friday will as well.
"You get people coming in from the Easter Show and the atmosphere builds throughout the day, and if it's a dry track then good footy is normally being played.
"I think both teams really look forward to the clash and there have been some great ones over the past three or four years.
"It's pretty special when ANZ starts getting up towards that 40,000 mark. You can feel the crowd when they're yelling and screaming – it almost hits you in the face – and you want to be playing in those games. The players normally produce some special things when there's a big crowd."
This article first appeared on NRL.com