• Owen Craigie gives a reviews the past week in rugby (NITV)
The NRL’s Anzac Day games are a great way for Australians to commemorate those who served, as well as the selfless Aboriginal soldiers, according to former rugby league star and Over the Black Dot co-host Owen Craigie.
By
Owen Craigie

24 Apr 2018 - 3:15 PM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2018 - 3:17 PM

The footy on Anzac Day is one of those great Australian occasions.

It's a special experience not just for the viewer, but for these footballers too. You're representing the people and families that served this country and who went to war.

Australians are very proud of serving their country. Through rugby league we can showcase that and people can pay their respects on Anzac Day, playing the Anzac Day game, in memory of everyone who serves their country.

It's a big day and it should be a good game. The Dragons pull a good crowd against the Roosters to kick things off and they're playing for such a special occasion —they're playing for all the ANZACs and commemorating everyone that served in the war.

And once again, the sport of rugby league is paying their respects, to showcase a big game at the Sydney Football Stadium.

 

Storm's coming in

Following that is the Storm and the Warriors and that should be the game of the round.

The Storm are coming off a good win against the Broncos and the Warriors beat the Dragons, so this will be a big game too.

It's played in Melbourne on a big day for sport there, and I think the Warriors will get up.

It's full of big emotions Anzac Day and it makes everyone play better. It definitely makes payers give it their all, and what better way to enjoy it than to sit back on Anzac Day and watch a couple of games of footy with a few beers.

The players are so proud of it. They relish it and it's a great honour to be a part of such a big occasion. I think they're thankful for the opportunity to play in such big games.

From an Indigenous perspective, commemorating fallen Aboriginal soldiers is an emotional one, because many Aboriginal people went to fight for a country that they weren't even recognised in.

From an Indigenous perspective, commemorating fallen Aboriginal soldiers is an emotional one, because many Aboriginal people went to fight for a country that they weren't even recognised in. They went and fought for something that they just loved and that they believed in.

That's the toughest part.

Rugby league has a history of being a front-runner in things because there's so many different cultures and backgrounds and belief systems that actually play the game of rugby league, from grassroots community to NRL professionals.

And the NRL, they endorse different cultures and beliefs and they've got welfare teams in there for all of the core communities and the Aboriginal communities and the Maori community.

I think the league one day will do something very big in that regards, it's now just a matter of time of when.

 

Bigger is better

But for the time being, I'm looking forward to that player that stands out above the rest in these big game.

I love big-game players. I'm waiting for that one player in both of these games who stands up to be the match-winner and be the X-factor.

In big games like this is what brings out the best in players.

Who that might be, we won't know until we watch it, so bring it on.

For more Owen Craigie and Rugby League hot topics, tune into Over the Black Dot, live tonight at 8.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34). Join the conversation #OverTheBlackDot