Melbourne Stormâ€™s blockbuster Good Friday clash against St George-Illawarra Dragons will see the two teams once again compete for the Emergency Services Cup, the trophy up for grabs whenever these sides meet.
The Cup, named in honour of the men and women in the Emergency Services in Victoria and New South Wales who fought the Black Saturday bushfires and helped those affected by the disaster, is one piece of silverware missing from the Stormâ€™s trophy cabinet the Storm players would like to see returned.
â€œThe Dragons beat us the last time we played so unfortunately we donâ€™t hold the trophy at the moment,â€ said star Storm fullback Billy Slater.
â€œThey beat us at Kogorah late last year by 14 points after we beat them in the inaugural contest in round one by a point, so weâ€™re pretty keen to win the Cup back.â€
Not only would the Storm players like to win the Cup back given it would add another two premiership points to their tally and preserve their unbeaten start to the season, but given the bushfires occurred in their home city, the players and staff are aware of the devastation caused.
â€œI have the utmost respect for those who fought the fires and helped those who were shattered after Black Saturday,â€ said Slater.
â€œBeing so close to the bushfires really gave us as a Club a sense of what was going on, and to be able to honour the Emergency Services personnel with this Cup is something weâ€™re very proud of.
â€œThe whole squad went out to Whittlesea a couple of days after the bushfires to try and bring a smile to the faces of those affected, and to see what had happened was a real eye opener.
â€œThe outpouring of help for these people was amazing and Iâ€™m just really glad we can play for this trophy regularly against a Club we really respect.â€
The Storm and Dragons meet at Etihad Stadium on Good Friday, April 2 from 2.10pm.
Gates open at 12.30pm with plenty of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Dora the Explorer will be entertaining the kids from 12.30pm, before well known entertainer Axle Whitehead sings a couple of songs at 1.50pm.
After the game the Emergency Services Cup will be presented to the winning captain by the Minsiter for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas, before Storm CEO Matt Hanson makes a donation to the Good Friday Appeal on behalf of the Club.