Jason Nightingale wants St George Illawarra use the memories of their 2012 Anzac Day thriller to beat the Sydney Roosters on Friday.
St George Illawarra winger Jason Nightingale has won the NRL premiership, a Four Nations tournament with New Zealand but he ranks the 2012 Anzac Day thriller with the Sydney Roosters alongside them as career highlights.
The Dragons trailed by eight points with four minutes remaining but late tries to Matt Prior and Ben Creagh helped the joint-venture pull off an unlikely 28-24 victory in front of a crowd of over 40,000.
It was rare high point in an otherwise disappointing season for the Dragons in Steve Price’s first year in charge but Nightingale said it was a game he’ll never forget.
“That is one of the highlights of my career,” Nightingale said.
“It was a pretty tough year but that was a really great day for us. But that was two years ago and we lost the game last year and we’re desperate to win this one.”
After a season where disappointing crowds have been a major talking point, the Anzac Day fixtures are certain to draw big crowds in all three of the country’s biggest cities.
Over 40,000 are expected at Allianz Stadium with a similar number tipped to pour into Suncorp Stadium for Brisbane’s clash with South Sydney.
The now annual clash between Melbourne and the Warriors at AAMI Park is also expected to sell-out in what is a much-needed boost for the NRL.
“It really gets you going early on when you are facing the crowd and the anthems are going,” Nightingale said.
“Players love playing in front of big crowds, it what you play the game for to perform in front of big audiences in big stadiums.
“It’s something all the boys are looking forward to.”