At the beginning of the new millennium you would have struggled to find a bigger rivalry in the National Rugby League than the Sydney Roosters and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.


With both sides sitting atop of the tree in terms of talent, big names and support, each time these two met on the field it was as if a grand final was being played.


With their passionate fan bases behind them in the stands and only the colour Red separating them out on the field, the Chooks v the Doggies was a match any rugby league fan wouldnt miss.


However in recent years the fire between these historic rugby league clubs has burnt out just a little and its time to reignite the rivalry this Friday night, when the next chapter of this epic tale is written.


Roosters.com.au was lucky enough to hear from a man who was right in the thick of it throughout the early days of the 2000s; a man who won a Premiership in the Red, White and Blue and played over 300 games to become Bondis most-capped Rooster, Luke Ricketson.


Now a member of the Sydney Roosters Board of Directors, Ricketson was a part of one of the most successful eras in Tricolour history and joins former team mate Brad Fittler in chatting with us this week about The Rivalry That Is..


We clashed in a couple of major games of Friday Night Football back in the day and it was all born through those matches, Ricketson said.


There was certain players on their side that said things in the media about our Club and from there it became a bit personal on the field.


With the likes of Fittler, Wing, Fitzgibbon and Morley working alongside him under the guidance of Ricky Stuart, the Roosters were the team to beat for a handful of years and a title that Ricketson believes the Bulldogs were after.


Under Ricky we were a physical side and they were too. But we were the leaders in physicality on the field and they wanted to be.


We reacted to anyone who challenged us on the field and they were a side that did that, through guys like OMeley and Mason.


When you look back through the sides that played out some of these epic battles the stars are a plenty. Fittler, Patten, Fitzgibbon, Mason, Wing, OMeley, Morley, Myles and the list goes on... it was a time when the majority of the NRLs superstars belonged to Bondi and Belmore.


Something that Ricketson, a star of the game for over 10 years himself, believes is starting to begin once again.


When I was playing NRL there were superstars everywhere and a lot of them in the Bulldogs side and ours too.


I think its lacked the superstars in recent years, with guys leaving the Club and the game, but for the first time in a little while this game is jam-packed with superstars.


And when we asked about how he thought the match would go, Ricketson had a simple response.


It will be an absolute blockbuster.


Weve never questioned him before and were right with him again, on this one.


Bring on Friday night!



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