Roberts-Smith a Roosters man - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roberts-Smith a Roosters man

David Beniuk 25/04/2011 05:48:32 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters may have been ruing the one that got away when Victoria Cross winner Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith declared himself a fan of the NRL club before Monday's Anzac Day clash.

Built like a rugby league front-rower, Roberts-Smith was the guest of honour for the pre-match commemorative service, arriving in a Sixth Aviation Regiment Black Hawk chopper to deliver the Anzac Cup to NRL boss David Gallop.

"Unfortunately for the St George supporters, I've got to tell you I followed them (the Roosters) for 15 years," Roberts-Smith declared.

"It just comes down to loyalty."

The most decorated living member of the defence force, Roberts-Smith became the second recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia after last year drawing enemy fire away from his patrol in Afghanistan.

The 32-year-old was born in Perth and appears to have picked up his Roosters habit with a move to NSW when he joined the army in 1996.

He joined dignitaries including World War II veteran and the last surviving member of St George's first premiership-winning side of 1941, Bill Collier, and Eastern Suburbs WWII veteran Ferris Ashton for a moving ceremony in front of 34,976 who braved the Sydney drizzle.

The Roosters and Dragons were lining up for the first time since last year's grand final win by Wayne Bennett's men in the 10th encounter since the two famous clubs made the Anzac Day match a tradition.

Unfortunately for the Roosters - and Corporal Roberts-Smith - the result was the same, even if it matters little in the big picture of international conflict.

"The guys overseas, and girls, know exactly what they're doing it for but it never hurts to let them know that Australia is behind them," Roberts-Smith said.

"They're over there for all of us, they're fighting for their country."

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