Vodafone Warriors members and sports fans across the board haven’t stopped raving about it and nor have a legion of top players after Eden Park rocked to the rugby league beat during the two-day NRL Auckland Nines extravaganza. Photo: Photosport
Also singing Eden Park’s praises in the wake of the sold-out event’s stunning success have been a host of big-name players who missed the tournament for a variety of reasons.
The focus now switches to maintaining rugby league’s football-meets-festival theme during the NRL ‘Season of Eden’ as the Vodafone Warriors prepare to stage a three-act drama featuring the St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday, March 15 (5.00pm kick-off), the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday, April 13 (4.00pm kick-off) and the Canberra Raiders on Saturday, May 10 (5.00pm kick-off).
Tickets went on sale today for all three matches as well as the rest of the Vodafone Warriors’ home games.
Former Kiwi back rower Bronson Harrison was left stunned by what unfolded at Eden Park when he returned home with the Dragons for the Nines. Now he can’t wait for more of the same when his St George Illawarra side returns to Auckland for the NRL's first taste of Eden Park in 2014. He has implored all Dragons fans in Auckland and anywhere near the city to jump on board for the game.
Vodafone Warriors TV spoke to an array of NRL players about their Eden Park experience over the weekend.
Kiwi Sam Perrett, who has played there for the Kiwis, said he was overwhelmed and was excited about the prospect of coming back for the Bulldogs’ sixth-round clash against the Vodafone Warriors.
Others trumpeting the venue and the atmosphere included Brisbane captain Corey Parker, Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, rugby league great Brad Fittler, Vodafone Warriors captain Shaun Johnson plus new Vodafone Warriors signings Sam Tomkins and Jayson Bukuya. Tomkins had played at Eden Park before for England during the 2010 Four Nations but he said this experience took it to a new level; Bukuya said it was by far the biggest and most amazing rugby league occasion he’d been involved in.