Battle of the Englishmen
Two English Internationals will go face to face this afternoon when Canterbury’s James Graham takes on South Sydney’s Sam Burgess at ANZ Stadium.
Both players are in red-hot form, Burgess ranks 2nd for hit-ups in the NRL with 96 while Graham ranks 3rd with 88. When it comes to metres gained, Burgess has the edge with a total of 1084m this year, averaging a whopping 184m and 36 tackles.
The strawberry blonde haired animal James Graham has known Sam Burgess for many years. Graham played 221 games for St. Helens in the English Super League between 2003-2011. He received the honour of Man Of Steel (England’s version of the Dally M Medal) in 2008 and won a number of Championships and Challenge Cups.
Graham first ran out for Great Britain in 2006, playing 5 matches. He’s since played 22 Tests for England since 2008.
Burgess played 88 games for Bradford between 2006-2009 before he arrived at South Sydney in 2010. The prop/lock represented Great Britain twice in 2007, and has gone on to play another 15 Tests for England since 2008, scoring 7 tries.
Since arriving at the Bulldogs in 2012, James Graham has been a leader of the pack. Originally starting off the bench, Graham was considered one of the best props of the season along with Sam Kasiano (Dally M Prop of the Year). Making over 15 hit-ups and 100m every game, Graham also showed his ball-playing skills, setting up 2012 Dally M Medal winner Ben Barba, for a number of line-breaks and tries.
Unfortunately, after losing the 2012 grand final to Melbourne, James received a 12-match suspension that didn’t see him return to the Dogs pack until Round 8, 2013. His absence coincided with a poor start to the season from the Bulldogs, who had only won 2 from their first 7 matches. However, Graham was the Dogs most consistent player in 2013, awarded with the clubs Player of the Year award.
Sam Burgess was a key signing for the Bunnies back in 2010. He was instantly selected to play for the NRL All Stars against the Indigenous All Stars and has gone on to play 76 matches for South Sydney. Injury held him down in recent years, with shoulder and ankle surgery ruining his 2011 season.
Both internationals have helped their teams experience high levels of success since their arrival. Burgess has played in 5 NRL finals matches including two preliminary finals, in which Souths were defeated by Canterbury and Manly respectively. Graham has played in 4 finals matches including a grand final in 2012 when they lost to Melbourne.
NRL Head to Head
Played 3, Graham 2, Burgess 1
WIN THIS EASTER LONG WEEKEND WTH ANZ STADIUM’S NEW APP
SHOW your true colours and win this Easter long weekend with ANZ Stadium’s new app – available now and for free in your app store.
You could be one of 12 lucky instant prize winners at this weekend’s #EasterFootyFeast.
How? Secure your seats, and while you’re at ANZ Stadium use the app to take a selfie to go in the draw to win. Not only will your colours show, but using the app you can tailor your selfie using our team-specific designs – a bit of fun for a chance to win.
Twelve people at both games are guaranteed to win special Easter prizes, with the major prizes valued at $200. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
What’s more, entering is easy in the interactive playground that is ANZ Stadium thanks to the venue’s free high-speed Wi-Fi service. Simply connect anywhere in and around the Stadium to use the ANZ Stadium app, enter the competition and share your event experience.
Sound good? Get in the zone early, download and explore the ANZ Stadium app today. (insert link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/anz-stadium/id851776076?mt=8)
All tickets include return travel on public transport.
With the match coinciding with the Royal Easter Show’s busiest days, footy fans are urged to leave the car at home and take advantage of the additional public transport services in operation.