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Mount Smart Stadium's first 20,000-plus crowd of the season ... will there be another huge attendance for today's festival of football? Photo: Photosport

Rugby league fans can feast on a four-game seven-and-a-half-hour festival of football at Mount Smart Stadium today.

Starting at 11.00am on the stadiums No 2 ground with the New South Wales Cup encounter between the Auckland Vulcans and Wentworthville, it culminates in the ninth-placed Vodafone Warriors taking on the sixth-placed Cronulla Sharks in their 21st-round NRL contest on the main ground (5.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: ZM).

In between the first and last matches there are two games on the main arena, the first the NYC meeting between the Vodafone Junior Warriors and Cronulla (12.45pm kick-off) and the second the inaugural Warriors Cup grand final in the College Rugby League First XIII competition (2.45pm kick-off). The combatants for the CRL showdown wwere found after Wednesdays semi-finals with Kelston Boys High School and St Pauls College winning through.

Its going to be a fantastic day for rugby league, a real festival of football, said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.

Triple headers involving the Vodafone Warriors, the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Vulcans have been a regular attraction so far this season but this is a first. Not only will we have the best players from the club spread through the three grades but well also have the best of the future in the Warriors Cup grand final.

Those who love their rugby league can make a real day of it, starting with the Vulcans on the No 2 ground at 11.00 and then moving next door to the main stadium to watch another three games.

A second big crowd in as many weeks is in prospect on following a turnout of 20,126 for the Vodafone Warriors impressive 30-22 win against the Melbourne Storm on Sunday, the biggest crowd of the season at Mount Smart Stadium so far this season.

Scurrah urged the public to secure tickets as the Vodafone Warriors look to build on a run which has seen them win seven of their last eight matches to sit just outside the top eight.

The crowd was brilliant on Sunday and wed love to see members and fans turn out in such big numbers again today to support our teams, said Scurrah.

To mark the occasion, match day sponsor ZM is taking over the North Stand and renaming it the ZM Student Fanstand for the day. ZMs Ministry of Sound Radio Sessions DJ Mikael Wills will have the party pumping while the Vodafone Warriors battle the Sharks on the field.

A special deal has been struck just for students with tickets costing only $15.00. Thats half price (booking fees apply; capacity is limited in the North Stand).

Therell be another large contingent of students at the ground on Saturday. As well as the two teams involved in the first Warriors Cup grand final, members from the other 16 CRL schools will be there (the competition is a joint venture between the Vodafone Warriors, the Auckland Rugby League and ASB College Sport).


Tickets also available from Mad Butcher stores at Albany, Glen Innes, Mangere East, Manukau and Takanini


Mount Smart Stadium

Saturday, August 03


NSW Cup: Vulcans v Wenworthville, Mount Smart Stadium No 2


Gates open, Mount Smart Stadium No 1


NYC: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Cronulla, Mount Smart Stadium No 1


Warriors Cup grand final: Kelston Boys High School or Otahuhu College v Mount Albert Grammar School or St Pauls College, Mount Smart Stadium No 1


NRL: Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla, Mount Smart Stadium No 1
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