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Back To The 80s For Bulldogs V Tigers

James Conway

IT’S back to the ‘80s for rugby league fans when the Canterbury Bulldogs take on western Sydney rivals the Wests Tigers at Stadium Australia on Friday 3 May.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Grand Final between the Bulldogs and Tigers, Canterbury will run a ticket promotion that will allow fans to get in to Stadium Australia at 1980s prices.

The promotion will run for 1988 minutes from 11am Tuesday to 8.08pm Wednesday. During this period fans will be able to purchase General Admission tickets at $10 for adults, $7.50 concession, $20 for a family of four, and $5 for juniors.

To take advantage of this great offer, click here.

On the night of the match, the legendary Chiko Roll will make a special 80s comeback at Stadium Australia with Chikos and hot dogs selling for $2.50 each before kickoff at 7.35pm. The pre-match build-up will have a 1980s theme.

The May 3 game will be crucial for both the Bulldogs and Tigers who have had modest starts to the 2013 season.

But they will be able to use the brutal 1988 decider for inspiration.

The Bulldogs won the 1988 Grand Final 24-12. That was the year a controversial Terry Lamb tackle took Balmain’s Ellery Hanley out of the game and the Bulldogs’ favourite son Steve Mortimer played his last match.

The Bulldogs were coached by Phil Gould, who took over from Warren Ryan. After coaching the Bulldogs to three Grand Finals and two premierships in the 80s, Ryan took over as Tigers coach in 1988 and was up against his old club in the Grand Final.

Like Gould in 1988, incumbent Bulldogs coach Des Hasler led the Bulldogs to a grand final in his first year at the helm. He will hope his charges can emulate the Bulldogs ‘entertainers’ of the 80s who won four premierships in a golden decade.

With just seven NRL games under his belt Curtis Sironen – the son of former Tigers great Paul Sironen, who featured in the 1988 grand final side – will look to back up his City Origin debut with a strong performance for the Tigers.

On the comeback trail from a shoulder injury, the young 19-year-old will play a pivotal role in turning the Tigers’ fortunes around against a desperate Bulldogs side looking to rectify a 1-5 start to the season.

In a week where the Bulldogs will look to draw on the inspiration of some of history’s greats, they will have to overcome one of history’s great demons. Never before In rugby league’s 105 year history has a team won a premiership after a 1-5 start.

If any team can do it, it’s the Bulldogs. Last year’s Dally M Medal winner Ben Barba believes the blue and white can add some bite to their bark.

“We know we’ve got the side to do it. . . we’ve got to string back to back wins together and then I know we’ve got the side to go on with it,'” Barba said.

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