Andrew Bryan, NRL.com
No matter if you are a fan of the newly formed Gold Coast Titans or foundation clubs the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs – Heritage Round is all about celebrating the rich history of the greatest game of all. It is a time to reflect on the great times, the legends and the past.
Heritage means different things to different people and Heritage Round is about celebrating your club, your players and what has made rugby league so special. It is not always about celebrating a Heritage Round match between two long-standing clubs, there are simply way too many rivalries to fit into one round.
So whether it is celebrating one of your favourite players or mascots, an old jersey or relic from the past, visiting a ground that holds so many memories, or celebrating an iconic moment such as the Arthur Summons and Norm Provan Gladiators embrace, Heritage Round is what you want to make it. Get out to a match and celebrate the greatest game of all.
Check out some archive footage of your club here.
Broncos v Cowboys
The Broncos won their derby against the Gold Coast, now they have to take on the Cowboys – a team many picked at the start of the season to give the NRL premiership a real shake.
The Broncos jersey is based upon their 2002 to 2010 strip. It contains the name of all 198 players who have pulled on a Broncos jersey over the past 25 years.
The Cowboys jersey is based upon the jersey they wore when they first joined the competition in 1995.
Roosters v Bulldogs
These two teams have a deep-seeded rivalry at the best of times, but this one is extra special.
The two sides competed in the 2004 grand final and a number of Bulldogs players have been signed (or poached depending on who you talk to) by the Roosters in recent times.
They also played against each other in the 1980 grand final – Steve Gearin’s try ring any bells? Click here to read the story about how it still haunts the Roosters.
The Bulldogs jersey is based upon the strips they wore between 1935 (when they first joined the competition) and 1942, and again from 1947-1965. They wore a predominantly maroon strip between 1942 and 1947.
The Roosters will wear their regular home strip which has been relatively unchanged since 1953.
Knights v Panthers
The Panthers jersey is based upon their original strip they wore when they entered the competition in 1967, whille the Newcastle Knights will wear their home strip, which is based upon the same strip they wore for the inaugural premiership back in 1997.
Raiders v Warriors
The Canberra Raiders in partnership with major sponsor Huawei, are conducting a MASS promotion with the 15 local junior clubs from the region. The Raiders were ‘born’ out of the local competition back in 1981 (from the Queanbeyan United club) and currently the premier division is known as the “Canberra Raiders Cup”.
Heritage Round activations at Canberra Stadium include:
· Local club registration stalls set up in the stadium concourse area
· Local club junior relay held at half-time with Huawei giving away $1,000 cash in prize money. The relay involves 11 runners from each club, ranging in age from 6-16 years. Money is awarded to first, second and third placegetters.
· Whilst the local club junior relay is being run, big screen promotion of each club will be taking place.
The Warriors jersey is based upon the strip they wore in 2002 when they played the Roosters in the grand final.
Rabbitohs v Storm
The Rabbitohs and Storm clash in a top of the table battle - they are the only undefeated teams in the competition. A lot of experts are claiming there is a ‘Melbourne look’ about the way the Rabbitohs play – thanks largely to coach Michael Maguire – a former assistant to Craig Bellamy at the Storm. This is sure to be an absolute blockbuster.
The Rabbitohs jersey is based upon their original 1908 strip, and varies from their regular jersey due to the removal of black around the collar and under the arms.
Tickets only $40 for families (pre-purchase only), and kids will be allowed on the field after the match!
Sea Eagles v Sharks
This clash is a throwback to the famous 1973 grand final. It is also the 30-year reunion of the 1983 KB Cup final between the two clubs. It is the battle of the beaches, both clubs will want to win this game badly.
Manly are wearing a special heritage jersey, presenting the 1973 team with premiership rings at half-time, and having a fan post-match event with the 1973 team and full squad at the Leagues Club.
The Manly heritage strip is a tweaked version of the home jersey which is inspired from the original Sea Eagles strip, and will feature the names of every first grade player who ever pulled on the Manly jersey.
Wests Tigers v Dragons
The iconic rugby league moment where Arthur Summons and Norm Provan embraced after the 1963 grand final has not only been etched into folklore, it became the symbol for the NRL Telstra Premiership trophy.
On Sunday afternoon at the SCG, the NRL, St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of this defining moment. It is sure to be a special occasion.
The Wests Tigers black & white jersey is based upon the most famous of the Western Suburbs Magpies strips, which the club wore from 1959–1999.
The Dragons jersey is based upon the strip the club wore in 1929 and 1930, the first time the club adopted the Red V.
Titans v Eels
While not an obvious rivalry, the Eels have been playing teams from the Gold Coast since 1988, when the then Giants joined the expanded NSWRL competition. In this history of the two regions, both sides have won 11 regular season games apiece against each other, with the differential only being the one finals series game they have played.
There are other items that connect the two regions a lot more than people expect. Gold Coast’s first ever finals series game was played at Parramatta’s home ground, Parramatta Stadium in '97, whilst both teams also share common colours.
But Heritage Round isn’t just about celebrating rivalries, it is about celebrating the history of your club, your favourite players and moments that define your team.