No guarantees for Storm's Anzac Day bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No guarantees for Storm's Anzac Day bid

By Steve Jancetic 23/04/2009 06:10:59 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's bid for an annual Anzac Day clash may not make it to a second instalment with NRL officials giving the Storm no guarantees of a permanent slot on the rugby league calendar.

As Sydney Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce laughed off the Storm's attempted ambush of the holiday fixture, the NRL on Thursday revealed there was no provision within the code's broadcast agreement for a second Anzac Day game.

The Roosters and St George Illawarra have had a mortgage on Anzac Day battles for the last seven years, but with the public holiday falling on a Saturday this year, the Storm have attempted to trumpet their match against the Warriors as the "true" Anzac Day game.

They have even struck `The Spirit of ANZAC' medal to be awarded to the player who - according to statement from the club - "typifies courage and comradeship, traits personified by soldiers who have, and continue to fight for Australia and New Zealand."

But with Anzac Day falling on a Sunday next year, NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said the Storm's hopes for an annual event lay at the discretion of broadcasters.

"The only game that we've got enshrined in the broadcast deal is the Dragons and the Roosters and that's protected in the agreement for Anzac Day every year," Annesley said.

"Anzac Day is on a Sunday next year - those two teams (Melbourne and the Warriors) - if they are drawn to play each other which they can always request, it would be within the Nine Network and Fox Sports' rights to choose them on either the Friday, Saturday or Monday."

"(When) it falls on a non-normal NRL day, such as Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday - the Dragons-Roosters game is the only Anzac Day game in the broadcasting agreement."

Asked if the Storm had spoken to the NRL about staging an annual clash, Annesley said:

"I haven't had any approach from the Storm at this stage."

Noyce said he wasn't perturbed by the Storm's encroachment on the Roosters-Dragons match-up, which is back at the Sydney Football Stadium after moving out to ANZ Stadium last season.

"It's not going to stop one person coming to our game on Saturday," Noyce said.

"The quality always rises to the top and people know the facts.

"I know that the plan going forward is that the Roosters and the Dragons will be playing Anzac Day games for a very long time - that's really all I'm worried about."

Storm chief executive Brian Waldron said the 2007 premiers were not looking to step on any toes in attempting to set up a southern Anzac Day clash.

Waldron said he understood that television would dictate when they played the game, but said there was an opening in 2010 and 2011 - when Anzac Day falls on a Sunday and then a Monday - to play the match in unison with the Dragons-Roosters clash.

"Moving forward post that I like to think we'd get enough momentum to make it an annual event," he said.

"Melburnians treat Anzac Day with an incredible amount of importance and history."

Waldron also indicated the match would be close to a sell-out by kick-off.

Meanwhile in Sydney on Thursday talkback callers voiced their anger at an advertisement for the Roosters-Dragons clash.

The ad included commentary over the top of The Last Post, the NRL pulling the commercial before re-working it change the music.

The RSL said they had given their approval to the use of the initial advertisement.

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