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Home » » Canberra Raiders unhappy at Anzac Day match snub as they prepare for away game in Cairns on Sunday

Canberra Raiders unhappy at Anzac Day match snub as they prepare for away game in Cairns on Sunday



The NRL has scheduled five games this Saturday to commemorate Anzac Day — but no game in Australia’s national capital.
Matches will be played in Sydney (Roosters v Dragons, Allianz Stadium), Newcastle (Knights v Cowboys, Hunter Stadium), Auckland (Warriors v Titans, Mt Smart Stadium), Melbourne (Storm v Sea Eagles, AAMI Park) and Brisbane (Broncos v Eels, Suncorp Stadium).
But Canberra’s GIO Stadium will remain empty. 
“We have the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, the Defence Department and all our military training establishments — but no game on Anzac Day,” said Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. “Rugby union and AFL have blockbusters here on Anzac Day — but there isn’t a rugby league game.”
Raiders fans on social media questioned how Newcastle had a stronger connection to Anzac Day than Canberra.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith was actually in Canberra on Tuesday announcing a four-year alliance between his sport and the Australian War Memorial.
That link, say Canberra, should have ensured a Raiders home match this Saturday. 
“There should be a game in Canberra game celebrating Anzac Day,” said Stuart. “We get the NRL committing to a four-year partnership with the Australian War Memorial yet they still don’t give us a game on Anzac Day. I thought that would be the least they could do to be respectful of the Anzacs and our fans.”
Instead, Canberra will travel to Cairns for a match against South Sydney on Sunday.
“We don’t mind playing away — we actually enjoy road trips,” Stuart said. “But the scheduling is poor. It seems every other city has been allocated a game on Anzac Day except us.”
Privately, Canberra feel as though they are continually discarded by the NRL when it comes to key issues in the game, starting with a lack of free-to-air coverage.
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