A joint-venture between the Vodafone Warriors, the Auckland Rugby League and ASB College Sport, the CRL Premier First XIII Competition reaches its climax over the next few days.
The Warriors Cup championship grand final between Kelston Boys High School and St Pauls College at Mount Smart Stadium tomorrow (2.45pm) is the main curtain-raiser to the 21st-round NRL encounter between the Vodafone Warriors and the Cronulla Sharks (5.00pm kick-off).
Next Wednesday the CRLs second and third tier grand finals are played on Mount Smart Stadium No 2 when Papakura High School meets Southern Cross Campus in the Warriors Plate decider at 7.00pm, preceded by the Warriors Bowl grand final between James Cook High School and Mount Roskill Grammar School (5.30pm).
To mark tomorrows Warriors Cup grand final, the Vodafone Warriors have distributed almost 600 tickets to the 18 CRL schools to take in a tripleheader which kicks off with the NYC clash between the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Sharks (12.45pm). Kelston BHS and St Pauls College have been given 90 tickets each.
The students will all be sitting in the North Stand, renamed the ZM Fanstand for the day by match day sponsor ZM.
Both CRL grand finalists have a strong past and current association with the Vodafone Warriors.
Vodafone Junior Warriors standoff Tuimoala Lolohea is still a student at Kelston Boys High School while NYC team-mate David Fusitua is a Kelston BHS old boy as are current NRL players Ben Henry, Suaia Matagi and recently-departed Bill Tupou. Ex-Vodafone Warriors from the school include Awen Guttenbeil, Patrick Ah Van, Epalahame Lauaki and Duane Mann.
The St Pauls production line claims a host of Vodafone Warriors past and present. Jerome Ropati, Sione and Sam Lousi, Elijah Taylor, Pita Godinet and John Palavi are all in this years NRL squad while Siliva Havili, Michael Sio and Toafofoa Sipley are part of the 2013 Vodafone Junior Warriors NYC squad. Ex-Vodafone Warriors out of St Pauls include Stacey Jones, Joe Vagana, Nigel Vagana, Francis Meli and Evarn Tuimavave.
The initial squads for tomorrows grand final are:
Kelston Boys High School: Polima Siaki; Fetalaiga Pauga, Shane Hannam, Mathew Faitotoa, Onasai Nanai-Vai; Kyle Blunkell, Zion Ioka; Epeli Mataitini, Matt Halalova, Seremaia Savea; Faitotoa Faitotoa, Treyvan Leuluai; Sala Falelua Malio. Interchange: Matthew McAllister, Conan Mualama, Aiden Taua, Rupeni Bale. Coach: Dave McDermott. Manager: Ngahiwi Walker. Trainer: Phillip Kingi.
St Pauls College: Bradley Abbey; Taniela Leka, Paul Nuia, Tupou Tapuaiga, Samuel Filimoeatu; Jamon Peua, Marovna Benionc; Jonah Sofele, Semisi Havili, Bunty Afoa; Scott Tofa-Timoteo, Charismata Vili; Casey Lafaele. Interchange: Xavier Rice, Fakaola Uilou, Victor Vakameilalo, Fred Sola. Coach: Mark Rice. Assistant coach: Junior Fiu. Manager: Brian Stephenson. Trainer: Phil Sargeant.
GET YOUR TICKETS to Saturday's match against the Sharks | Saturday August 3, Mt Smart Stadium