Wests Tigers will take on the Parramatta Eels this week in another installment of what’s quickly becoming a must-watch rugby league fixture on Easter Monday.
Played annually on Easter Monday for the fourth year in a row now, the contest always seems to throw up plenty of exciting moments and memories for the blockbuster crowd.
And that’s what we’re counting down in this week’s Top 5 at Five, thanks to Share Care.
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5. Teddy’s tremendous try-savers
Wests Tigers might have gone down on Easter Monday for the first time last year, but it wasn’t without two tremendous pieces of defending from fullback James Tedesco. Four minutes in, the 23-year-old somehow managed to stop Semi Radradra from scoring just metres from the line — keeping the score at 0-0. Down 2-0 in the second half, it was Tedesco again who came to the rescue for Wests Tigers, somehow holding up representative centre Michael Jennings over the line. He then came incredibly close to denying Junior Paulo who crashed over despite appearing to lose the ball to give the Eels at 8-0 win, but it wasn’t without the best efforts of Tedesco at the back for Wests Tigers.
4. Record crowd fills ANZ Stadium
In the first Easter Monday meeting between the two, impressive starts to the year from both Wests Tigers and Parramatta had fans in anticipation for what was going to be a big game, with more than 50,000 filling the former Olympic stadium. The 50,668 in attendance remains the biggest stand-alone regular season crowd to fill ANZ Stadium — and what a game they ended up witnessing! More on that one later in this list…
3. Richards’ second most-famous try at ANZ Stadium
Nine years since his memorable Grand Final try at ANZ Stadium back in 2005, Pat Richards again crossed for a crucial four-pointer in Wests Tigers colours — this time snuffing out a three-on-one overlap to come up with a game-changing intercept. The veteran winger scooped up the pass on his own 10m line before running 90 metres to score under the posts — giving the visitors a reprieve and their first lead of the game.
2. Miracle try creates Easter Monday history
Trailing 6-4 with 10 minutes remaining, Wests Tigers needed something special to break down the Eels defence, and they would find just that through one of the tries of the season. With the ball spun wide to Richards, the winger somehow managed to kick the ball in field despite his entire body being tackled over the sideline, before Tedesco burst through to collect the kick and narrowly plant it down inside the touch line. After several looks by the video referee, the incredible try was awarded, and Wests Tigers were able to kick their way clear — running in two late tries to emerge 22-4 victors.
1. Brooks kicks Wests Tigers home
But there can only be one moment top of this list, and we go back to the original Easter Monday clash between the two back in 2014 to find it. With the scores locked at 18-18, Eels playmaker Chris Sandow missed a relatively simple conversion to keep the scores level late in the match, Luke Brooks — playing in his rookie NRL season — showed maturity beyond his years to slot a 25m field goal under pressure to give Wests Tigers a 19-18 lead, before a penalty goal after the siren ensured two points for Wests Tigers.