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It’s the moment like few others in Australian sport as darkness descends on AAMI Park for a spine-tingling memorial service for war veterans before the Melbourne Storm's annual ANZAC Day clash.

Cameron Munster has played in grand finals, State of Origin and Test matches but nothing compares to the emotions he experiences before the traditional game.

"For me it's one of those moments you can't forget," Munster told "The stadium's blacked out and the lights are sitting on you. Everyone's watching you, we can't see them but they can see us. 

"Once they light the stadium up, you see the crowd roaring and it brings chills down your back."

ANZAC Day services have become a common occurrence in Australian sport, with multiple football codes commemorating our veterans prior to games on April 25 and the days surrounding.

Melbourne's ANZAC Day ceremony is unlike any other in Australian sport.
Melbourne's ANZAC Day ceremony is unlike any other in Australian sport. ©NRL Photos

Melbourne’s ceremony, however, is different.

The night-time kick-off allows the Storm to add another layer of emotion to the experience, with the lights switched off at AAMI Park before a spotlight is placed on those involved.

Images are also projected on to the field and the stands, with the eerie silence of a full stadium adding to the atmosphere.

The Storm have been hosting an ANZAC Day game since 2009 but it wasn’t until 2016 when they introduced the ceremony in its current form.

Ryan Hoffman was captaining the Warriors at the time and said it was an experience like no other.

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"We had no idea it was happening," he told "I remember walking out and seeing how dark it was. After the ceremony in the Warriors huddle we looked at each other and just said it was amazing.

"It's a special day for Australia and New Zealand. The way Melbourne does it with the black out and the silence, the silence is the most deafening thing. It's always a packed house, to have that many people in silence and the respect showed with the spotlight on the soldiers, it's absolutely brilliant."

The Melbourne ANZAC Day clash will look a little different this year, with their traditional foe, the Warriors, granted their long-held wish of hosting a game on the special day.

Instead, it will be the South Sydney Rabbitohs who travel south to take on the Storm in a match that will carry plenty of added meaning on and off the field.

The teams may be different, but the emotions will remain for a service like no other in Australian sport.

"We're fortunate to be able to play on such a great day," Munster said. "We have our freedom because of the people before us. It's a hard day, they went to war, we can never replicate what they went through. 

"The least we can do is do the things they did when they went to war. That's spirit, courage, hard work and working for each other. That's all we can do as teammates, work hard for each other. 

"If we can do that, we can do the ANZACs proud and we've been doing that every year. It's no different on Thursday."

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.