Spirit of Anzac inspires Sydney Roosters to perform against St George Illawarra in Anzac Day clash

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Story published in The Daily Telegraph – Friday April 25, 2014

BOYD Cordner became the first Roosters player to win the Spirit of Anzac medal last year and his captain Anthony Minichiello wants more of the same on Friday.

The medal — awarded to the player judged best on field in the Roosters/Dragons Anzac Day clash — is growing in stature from a players’ perspective.

Minichiello says playing on Anzac Day is emotional enough, but winning the medal would be a “huge homour’.

“Every Anzac Day is always a tough battle; it’s not hard to get up for this game. It’s such a privilege to play on this day,” he said.

“The medal, I think it was created last year for the man of the match, is a huge honour for anyone who picks [it] up.”

“I think Boyd Cordner won it last year, and well deserved as well. Hopefully it’s won by one of the boys in our team.”

Although all players would be humbled to receive the award, Minichiello, like all great captains, has the outcome of the game as the forefront of his focus.

When prompted on how it would feel to win the award, Minichiello replied “It would be great, but I’d like a win first.”

The award history centres around the two former players after which it is named.

Ferris Ashton was a member of the Australian Royal Navy during World War II.

Ashton was only a young man when he served on the HMAS Quickmatch, and was in Tokyo Harbour when the Japanese surrendered, September 2, 1945.

Returning from the war, Ashton played for Eastern Suburbs and also represented NSW and Australia.

Bill Collier was a member of the Dragons first ever premiership winning team in 1941, and at the conclusion of the 1942 season he was sent to Papua New Guinea as part of an armoured regiment.

Sam Alexander
Find the story published on the daily telegraph website: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/spirit-of-anzac-inspires-sydney-roosters-to-perform-against-st-george-illawarra-in-anzac-day-clash/story-e6freuy9-1226895155584

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