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The game I circle: Aiden Tolman

It was the day an NRL record 51,686 fans rocked up to ANZ for the annual Good Friday clash, but Bulldogs bopper Aiden Tolman felt like he was the one who got all the chocolates. 

Last year's traditional fixture earned the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs a new regular NRL season attendance record, surpassing Darren Lockyer's farewell match two years ago that attracted 50,859.

"Last year, the game that stands out for me is the Good Friday game against South Sydney because we had a record crowd at ANZ stadium," Tolman tells

"So I think for me that's always a big clash. You've got the two biggest supporter bases in Sydney, [the game] came down to the wire as well. 

"Every game you play is always tough. Parramatta's another rivalry we've got there, but games like that, the ones where you get all the crowd there and supporting you, they're the ones that stand out for me."

In fact, Tolman says the opposition is almost irrelevant. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the atmosphere, and the bigger Tolman feels when he runs down the tunnel and onto the playing arena. 

"For me personally, it doesn't really matter who you're playing against," he says. 

"South Sydney are always going to be a tough side so you know it's going to be a good game. But I think it's more about the crowd that's there. It's a public holiday, we had 60-odd thousand there last year... it's the atmosphere that it creates. 

"Just the buzz and the fact that it's a day game, you don't get to play too many Friday afternoon day games. So for me it was that atmosphere and playing in front of two big crowds, it stuck in my mind for sure. 

"When you come up against the big crowds, they lift both teams. Every team you come up against you always want to win, but especially those rivalries, it does mean a bit more to the club so you try your best to try and get the win."

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