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What ANZAC Day means to me: Fittler

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler is responsible for one of the most brilliant tries ever seen on ANZAC Day but it’s the enormity of the occasion that he still remembers the most.

Fittler spoke to nswrl.com.au about the importance of ANZAC Day on the Rugby League calendar as the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra prepare for their traditional clash.

This year’s match will be played at the SCG and the in-form Roosters will be looking to close the gap on the Dragons who have won 11 of the last 17 ANZAC Day contests.

Fittler was part of the Roosters team that won a tight tussle 11-8 in 2004 which is best remembered for his try in the second half where he unleashed two trademark left foot steps to score a long-range try and help lock the scores up at 8-all.

“It’s just one of those days as an Australian that you’re very proud of the history and the way they fought,” Fittler said.

“During the week we normally speak to someone and someone comes in and talks to us about the reality of war.

“You start to realise where rugby league sits and somehow you can just give a little bit more when you listen to what so many people went through in those times.

“That’s why the games end up so good because people just find something more to help the occasion. It’s a big crowd, there’s a big crowd and that brings the best out in both teams.”

Fittler said he couldn’t wait for this year’s encounter with the Roosters sitting just behind Melbourne in second spot while the Dragons are on a four-match winning streak.

There will be plenty of Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues players for him to keep an eye on from both camps including Roosters’ Boyd Cordner, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell, and Dragons’ Paul Vaughan, Tyson Frizell and Tariq Sims.

“This year it’s great, the Dragons had a bit of a tough start but the way they’re playing at the moment it’s going to be an absolutely fantastic game,” Fittler said.

“The last couple of games I can remember have been close and hard fought so hopefully that can reflect what they’re playing for and what they’re representing and that’s the ANZAC’s.”

ANZAC Day clashes

Played 17 Dragons 11 Roosters 6

 

2002: Roosters 24-20

2003: Dragons 24-20

2004: Roosters 11-8

2005: Dragons 26-24

2006: Dragons 22-12

2007: Roosters 18-4

2008: Dragons 26-6

2009: Dragons 29-0

2010: Dragons: 28-6

2011: Dragons 24-10

2012: Dragons 28-24

2013: Roosters 34-10

2014: Roosters 34-14

2015: Dragons 14-12

2016: Dragons 20-18

2017: Roosters 13-12

2018: Dragons 24-8

Played 17 Dragons 11 Roosters 6