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ANZAC Day Test

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ANZAC Day Test

Anzac Test
167 × 200 pixels
2005 logo
Sport Rugby league football
Inaugural season 1997
Number of teams 2
Countries  Australia
 New Zealand
Trophy holders  Australia (2011)
Most titles  Australia (11 titles)
Broadcast partner Nine Network

The Anzac Test is an annual rugby league football test match (known as the Bundaberg Rum Test from 2004–2008 and the VB Test in 2009 for sponsorship reasons). The test match is played annually between Australia and New Zealand on or around Anzac Day for the Bill Kelly Memorial Trophy.[1]



Australia and New Zealand had competed in Rugby League Tests since 1908. The Anzac Test, played on or around Anzac Day, was introduced by Super League (Australia) in 1997. When New Zealand was defeated 56–0 in 2000 the Australian Rugby League (ARL) was criticised for playing the match before the State of Origin series. The Test was then dropped from the annual schedule in favour of match in mid-July. In 2002 and 2003 Australia defeated Great Britain (64–10) and New Zealand (48–6) in July Test matches, so the Bundaberg Rum Test (as it became known for sponsorship reasons) was revived the following year.

Naming controversy

The Anzac Test was controversial for its use of the term Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and its perceived comparison of professional sportsmen with soldiers. However Super League donated a large sum of money to the RSL, and Bruce Ruxton featured in commercials for the inaugural Anzac Test, proclaiming

"Mark my words, Australia is still in grave danger from one of our so-called neighbours. The Kiwis were once our allies and now they’re on the other side – at least for 80 minutes".[2]

The word Anzac is protected in Australia by The Protection of Word "Anzac" Regulations (under the War Precautions Act Repeal Act 1920) and requires permission of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs for use in commercial events.[3] This permission was given for the event from 1997–1999.[4]

From 2004 until 2008 the match was officially called the Bundaberg Rum League Test, after the principal sponsor, Bundaberg Rum. For the 2009 fixture, the principal sponsor was Victoria Bitter and, as such, the match was officially called the VB Test.[5] Despite the official name change, it is still common for the match to be called the Anzac Test.[6]


Two different trophies have been awarded for the winner of this Test. For the 1997–1999 Anzac Tests, the winner was awarded the Anzac Trophy, which depicted an Australian slouch hat and New Zealand lemon squeezer hat.

Since 2004, the winner of the Bundaberg Rum League Test has been awarded the Bill Kelly Memorial Trophy.[7] This trophy was donated in 1996 by Gerald Ryan ONZM, a past president of the New Zealand Rugby League. It is named after Bill Kelly, a New Zealand rugby league player in the early 20th century.

The Bill Kelly Memorial Trophy was briefly stolen by three 25 year old New Zealand men after Australia's victory in the 2006 Test. It was found several hours later on the awning of a nearby building.[8] The trophy currently resides at the Australian Rugby League headquarters in Sydney.

In 2011 the Bill Kelly Memorial Trophy was not played for in the ANZAC Test, but instead in a one-off post-season test match.

Demise and Reconception

In 2007, the New Zealand Rugby League announced that the ANZAC Test would not be contested after 2008, citing difficulties with selecting their best possible team for a match held at that time of year. According to the NZRL Director of Football, Graham Lowe, "We have an obligation to play Australia in Sydney on 9 May next year, because it is their centenary test, and we will fulfil it, but that will be the last one." Although the NZRL did not think that the Anzac Tests were still a viable option, they were "optimistic an international calendar will be adopted.".[9]

After New Zealand's win in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, the release of new RLIF world rankings, and the introduction of a new international schedule,[10] the annual mid-season test between Australia and New Zealand was revived. The 2009 fixture was played on 8 May in Brisbane.[6]

The 2010 ANZAC Test, played on 7 May, was the first game of football at Melbourne's newly constructed AAMI Park.

The 2011 ANZAC Test was scheduled to be held at AMI Stadium in Christchurch however the match had to be rescheduled at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast due to the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.

The 2012 ANZAC Test was held at Eden Park, Auckland, on April, 20th, 2012 and was adjudicated by English Referee, Richard Silverwood. The 2013 Test is to be held in Canberra to celebrate the centenary of that city.

Overall tally

Team Wins
Australia1 12
New Zealand 1
  1. Includes the Australia (Super League) victory in 1997.


April - May matches

Date Result Venue Crowd
19 April 2013 Australia def. New Zealand 32–12 Canberra Stadium, Canberra 25,628
20 April 2012 Australia def. New Zealand 20–12 Eden Park, Auckland 35,329
6 May 2011 Australia def. New Zealand 20–10 Robina Stadium, Gold Coast 26,301
7 May 2010 Australia def. New Zealand 12–8 Melbourne Park, Melbourne 29,442[11]
8 May 2009 Australia def. New Zealand 38–10 Lang Park, Brisbane 37,152
9 May 2008 Australia def. New Zealand 28–12 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 34,571
20 April 2007 Australia def. New Zealand 30–6 Lang Park, Brisbane 50,241
5 May 2006 Australia def. New Zealand 50–12 Lang Park, Brisbane 44,191
22 April 2005 Australia def. New Zealand 32–16[12] Lang Park, Brisbane 40,317
23 April 2004 Australia def. New Zealand 37–10 Newcastle International Sports Centre, Newcastle 21,537
21 April 2000 Australia def. New Zealand 52–0 Stadium Australia, Sydney 26,023
23 April 1999 Australia def. New Zealand 20–14[13] Stadium Australia, Sydney 30,245
24 April 1998 New Zealand def. Australia 22–16 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 25,000
25 April 1997 Australia (SL) def. New Zealand 34–22 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 23,829

October matches

Date Result Venue Crowd
13 October 2012 Australia def. New Zealand 18–10 Willows Sports Complex, Townsville 26,497
16 October 2011 Australia def. New Zealand 42–6 Hunter Stadium, Newcastle 32,890

2013 April Test


Australia Position New Zealand
Billy Slater Fullback Josh Hoffman
Darius Boyd Wing Sam Perrett
Greg Inglis Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Justin Hodges Centre Dean Whare
Brett Morris Wing Jason Nightingale
Johnathan Thurston Five-Eighth Kieran Foran (c)
Cooper Cronk Halfback Shaun Johnson
James Tamou Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Cameron Smith (c) Hooker Isaac Luke
Matthew Scott Prop Jesse Bromwich
Sam Thaiday 2nd Row Kevin Proctor
Greg Bird 2nd Row Frank Pritchard
Paul Gallen Lock Alex Glenn1
Kurt Gidley Interchange Ben Matulino
Nate Myles Interchange Sam McKendry
Luke Lewis Interchange Elijah Taylor
Anthony Watmough Interchange Tohu Harris
Tim Sheens Coach Stephen Kearney

1 - Captain Simon Mannering was replaced by Alex Glenn after withdrawing from injury only hours from the match. Tohu Harris was called into the squad for Glenn's bench spot to make his debut for his country. The change also resulted in Kieran Foran earning his first captaincy title for his country.

Match Summary

29 April 2013, 8:00pm

32 Australia
Tries 1 Cronk (6')
1 Inglis (51')
1 Morris (54')
1 Lewis (59')
1 Boyd (61')
1 Hodges (73')
Goals 4/6 Smith
(7', 52', 60', 75')
12 New Zealand
Tries 1 Hoffman (40')
1 Pritchard (78')
Goals 2/2 Johnson (40', 79')
Field Goals

Half Time: 6 all

Referee: Ashley Klein

Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra

Attendance: 25,628

Score progression
6th – Australia 6–0 (Cronk try, Smith goal)
40th – Australia 6–6 (Hoffman try, Johnson goal)
51st – Australia 12–6 (Inglis try, Smith goal)
54th – Australia 16–6 (Morris try)
59th – Australia 22–6 (Lewis try, Smith goal)
61st – Australia 26–6 (Boyd try)
73rd – Australia 32–6 (Hodges try, Smith goal)
78th – Australia 32–12 (Pritchard try, Johnson goal)

See also


  • "W(h)ither ANZAC Day? – The Legal Protection of "ANZAC", Digger History website. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "Fan Steals ANZAC Cup", Sydney Morning Herald website. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "NZ League To Take Hard Line With NRL", xtraMSN website. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "The Protection of National Icons", Advisory Council on Intellectual Property. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "Killing ANZAC", Digger History website. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "Reveller Slammed as ANZAC Cup Goes Walkabout", website. Retrieved 27 July 2006.
  • "NZRL move to red card Anzac tests", New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
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