Last Friday, international rugby greats took to the Ballymore field in what was a once-in-a-lifetime clash between the Classic Anzacs and the British and Irish XV, raising in excess of $200,000 for charity Mates4Mates - with part of the funds also going to Help for Heroes (UK) and The Fallen Heroes Trust (NZ).
It was a gruelling match between the vintage teams, who didn’t hold back on the bone-crunching blows, but the Classic Anzacs defended bravely - leading for the duration of the game and securing the win 29-5 against the British & Irish XV.
Former Wallaby great and Triple M Announcer Greg “Marto” Martin said, “The game was won at my selection table. The key to the victory was securing Larkham, Latham, Croft and Grey.”
“My passion was writing cheques that my body couldn’t cash. At the age of 49, I’ve now retired from rugby a happy man,” he said.
The emotions were running high during The Last Post which preluded the match, before the event kicked-off with a mighty roar from the 8,500 strong crowd - in particular game favourites Greg Martin and Ben Roberts-Smith.
Mates4Mates Chairman Peter Davies said, “The support shown by the crowd who came showed how close the wounded, injured and ill members of the Australian Defence Force are to the heart of the Australian people.”
“On behalf of those who have given so much for the life we lead, thank you.”
Ben Roberts-Smith, who captained the Classic Anzacs side, echoed Davies thoughts. “It was an honour playing with some of the greatest rugby players in the world. More importantly, it was fantastic to be able to represent Mates4Mates and raise a significant amount of money as well as raise awareness of the charity and the fact that wounded soldiers need our support.”
This was the second charity rugby match of this nature for Triple M Brisbane, who held the first Classic Rugby in 2011 to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake victims.
Southern Cross Austereo’s General Manager Richard Barker said, “Like the 2011 event, tonight was a wonderful night with plenty of spirit and emotion. You can’t beat the atmosphere of a Classic Rugby match at Ballymore, especially for a great cause like Mates4Mates.”
“We thank our great supporters and sponsors, in particular major sponsor Suncorp, in helping make this great event possible.”