In this week’s Throwback Thursday we take a look at the unforgettable ANZAC Day match in Round 6, 2014 against St Kilda in Wellington, New Zealand.
The Saints and Lions shared the rare opportunity to play at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium to commemorate a sacred day shared by Australians and New Zealanders.
The occasion marked the first time the Lions would play for premiership points overseas and with a 0-5 start to the 2014 season, it was a win the Lions desperately needed.
The St Kilda side was led by powerhouse Nick Riewoldt and, having booted 17 goals in the five games leading up to the ANZAC match, Reiwoldt was considered a major threat to the Lions.
The Lions backline had their work cut out for them but showed strength throughout the scrappy affair and the team prevailed with 12.10 (82) to 11.13 (79) victory.
The thrilling game saw the Lions build a 32-point lead in the second quarter, but it was not long before St Kilda stole the lead early in the final term.
The Lions were on the back foot until Jack Redden kicked for goal with only nine minutes remaining in the final term.
Former coach Justin Leppitsch admitted that the nail-biting 3-point win wasn’t the Club’s finest game of football but they were able to grind it out.
“Probably not with skills but with a little bit of heart,” said Leppitsch.
Redden was dominant for the Lions, with 29 possessions and two goals. While key defender Joel Patfull was exceptional in keeping Saint’s star forward Nick Riewoldt to one goal.
Lewis Taylor had an impressive game with 13 possessions and two goals, giving the Lions a glimpse of what Taylor had to offer the Club in the future.
The ANZAC Round was inspired by AFL Veteran Kevin Sheedy who introduced the commemorative fixtures back in 1996.
The round has since become a tradition of the AFL, honouring the mateship, courage, endurance and sacrifice of those who served and died for their country in war and conflict.
The players donned a commemorative guernsey proudly branded with the Australian Army Rising Sun the 7th Brigade’s insignia on the chest.
The guernsey not only paid tribute to the fallen armed personnel, family and friends but also celebrated the Club’s long-standing partnership with the Australian Armed forces.
This Saturday the Brisbane Lions will be once again experience the tradition and honour of wearing an ANZAC jumper as they face off against Western Bulldogs for the ANZAC Round at Etihad Stadium.