Dragons, Bulldogs and Raiders for Eden Park

The Vodafone Warriors first-ever three-game Eden Park season-within-a-season will feature the Dragons, the Bulldogs and the Raiders in the first two months of the 2014 NRL campaign.


The just-announced draw confirms a 'Season of Eden' with St George Illawarra as the Vodafone Warriors first home game of the year in the second round, set down for a 5.00pm kick-off at New Zealands biggest stadium on Saturday, March 15.


The other two Eden Park games have 2012 beaten grand finalists the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs inked in to meet the Vodafone Warriors in the sixth round on Sunday, April 13 (4.00pm kick-off) and Canberra in the ninth round on Saturday, May 10 (5.00pm kick-off).


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The fourth home game scheduled in the first nine rounds is against Wests Tigers at Wellingtons Westpac Stadium in the competitions fourth round, initially set down for Sunday, March 30 (2.00pm).


It has also been confirmed the Vodafone Warriors will play 13 of their 24 regular season games in New Zealand with the Bulldogs bringing their 10th-round home encounter to Hamiltons Waikato Stadium on Sunday, May 18 (4.00pm).


The Vodafone Warriors last eight home games of the season will all be played at Mount Smart Stadium starting with Newcastle on Sunday, June 1.


They also have a strong run of home games in the latter half of the campaign with eight of their last 13 games at Mount Smart Stadium including three in a row against Brisbane, Penrith and Parramatta (the games against the Panthers and the Eels are separated by a bye).


In other features the Vodafone Warriors will meet 2013s top four teams just once in the regular season Melbourne and South Sydney away and Manly and the Roosters at Mount Smart Stadium. They also travel to Perth for the third season running, drawn to meet the Rabbitohs in the 13th round at NIB Stadium on Saturday, June 7.


The draw works out well for us with our home games first at Eden Park and Westpac Stadium before we have our eight-game block of matches at Mount Smart Stadium, said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.


The start to the season couldnt be more exciting starting with the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park and then rolling into our matches there against the Dragons, Bulldogs and Raiders plus the Tigers in Wellington.


Its a challenging job for the NRL factoring in all the various requests but were thrilled with our mix of Saturday and Sunday games and also the fact we have an away game against the Bulldogs in Hamilton.


The scheduling means the Vodafone Warriors will now play NRL matches at four grounds in New Zealand Eden Park, Westpac Stadium, Mount Smart Stadium and Waikato Stadium while they warm up for their campaign with trials at North Harbour Stadium in Albany (the Titans on February 9) and Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (the Broncos on February 23).


Vodafone Warriors coach Matthew Elliott said the run home and the variety of Saturday and Sunday games was ideal.


Were still a long way off from the start of the 2014 season and weve got lots of work to do yet but I couldnt be more excited with whats ahead after studying the draw, he said.


There are so many tantalising prospects whether were playing at Eden Park, Westpac Stadium, Mount Smart or Waikato Stadium not to mention heading to Perth, Melbourne, Newcastle, Canberra, Townsville and around parts of Sydney.


Its what makes the NRL such an exciting competition to be involved in. My instant reaction? Cant wait.


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VODAFONE WARRIORS - 2014 NRL AND NYC DRAW

(local kick-off times listed)


1 Sun March 9 6.30pm Eels Parramatta Stadium

2 Sat March 15 5.00pm Dragons Eden Park

3 Sat March 22 8.00pm Cowboys 1300SMILES Stadium

4 Sun March 30 2.00pm Wests Tigers Westpac Stadium

5 Sat April 5 3.00pm Sharks Toyota Stadium

6 Sun April 13 4.00pm Bulldogs Eden Park

7 Sat April 19 5.30pm Dragons WIN Jubilee Oval

8 Fri April 25 6.00pm Storm AAMI Park

9 Sat May 10 5.00pm Raiders Eden Park

10 Sun May 18 4.00pm Bulldogs Waikato Stadium

11 Sat May 24 5.30pm Titans Skilled Park

12 Sun June 1 4.00pm Knights Mount Smart Stadium

13 Sat June 7 7.30pm Rabbitohs NIB Stadium

14 June 6-9 Bye

15 Sat June 21 7.30pm Broncos Mount Smart Stadium

16 Sun June 29 4.00pm Panthers Mount Smart Stadium

17 July 4-7 Bye

18 Sat July 12 7.30pm Eels Mount Smart Stadium

19 Sat July 19 7.30pm Broncos Suncorp Stadium

20 Sun July 27 4.00pm Sea Eagles Mount Smart Stadium

21 August 1-4 Raiders Canberra Stadium

22 August 9-11 Sharks Mount Smart Stadium

23 August 15-18 Knights Hunter Stadium

24 August 22-25 Roosters Mount Smart Stadium

25 August 29-September 1 Titans Mount Smart Stadium

26 September 4-7 Panthers Centrebet Stadium


FINALS


1 September 12-14 Qualifying Semi Finals

2 September 19-20 Semi Finals

3 September 26-27 Preliminary Finals

4 October 5 Grand Final