By Richard Becht
The Vodafone Warriors returned home this afternoon united in their disappointment about last night’s first-round loss to Parramatta but also looking forward to their next clash against St George Illawarra in the final leg of Saturday’s tripleheader at Eden Park (match day sponsor: Red Bull).
The first game day of the year at home begins with the Vodafone Warriors facing Illawarra in the New South Wales Cup (12.40pm kick-off). It’s followed by the Vodafone Junior Warriors taking on the Dragons in the NYC (2.45pm kick-off) and the NRL encounter (5.00pm kick-off).
Saturday’s feast of football is the first of four tripleheaders the Vodafone Warriors stage in Auckland and Wellington. On Saturday, March 29 the action switches to Westpac Stadium where the Vodafone Warriors meet Wests Tigers. The next two home games are both at Eden Park against Canterbury-Bankstown (Sunday, April 13) and Canberra (Saturday, May 10).
After losing 16-36 to the Eels last night, the Vodafone Warriors face another difficult assignment against a Dragons side buoyed by a 44-24 victory over the Tigers yesterday.
This afternoon the Vodafone Warriors and Vodafone Junior Warriors came home on the same Air New Zealand flight, assistant coach Andrew McFadden and veteran hooker Nathan Friend stopping to talk to the media at Auckland International Airport.
Tomorrow the players are back at work for meetings and a field session ahead of head coach Matthew Elliott revealing his side later in the afternoon for the St George Illawarra clash.
The Dragons have been the Vodafone Warriors’ most difficult opponents throughout the club’s existence. Of the 20 match-ups since the St George Illawarra franchise made its entry into the competition in 1999, the Vodafone Warriors have won only four. The last success was in 2007 with the Dragons winning eight straight since then.