Anzac sporting rivalries adjust to virtual world to commemorate trans-Tasman spirit

While Kiwis took to their own streets to commemorate Anzac Day, for some of our top athletes they were reigniting the trans-Tasman rivalry, but not as we know it.

Rowers and triathletes marked the day by battling it out with their Aussie counterparts in the new world of virtual racing. 

New Zealand Olympic triathlete Ryan Sissons admits to struggling from the comforts of home.

"Every single hill I got dropped on which for me never happens - I'm a mountain goat generally," Sissons told Newshub.

"But it's just good to have both countries on a virtual start line."

That start line may look very different to how this trans-Tasman rivalry usually unfolds, but the lack of real racing certainly didn't dent the competitive edge.

"It's cool to have the banter after the race, tell them they sucked and got dropped - it's good fun," said Sissons. 

For New Zealand's elite rowing team, their decks served as their lakes

In an ERG race organised by two-time Olympic champion Eric Murray to pit the Aussies against the Kiwis.

The race distance of 2504 metres paying tribute to the Anzacs sacrifice.

"It felt nice knowing you're doing it for a reason,"  said Kiwi rower Sophie McKenzie 

"With New Zealand and Australia, we were trying to clock up the most metres, but it was more like everyone giving it a go."

That's because this trans-Tasman race was by no means restricted to both nations' elite rowers. Instead it was opened up to anyone who felt like competing.

"The domestic season got cut a little bit short so to have something on Anzac Day that brings the whole community together in this time is pretty cool," said New Zealand squad member Nathan Flannery. 

Different sports, united by the Anzac spirit, proving even without sport, there's no slowing down the trans-Tasman rivalry.