Some of the crowd at Westpac Stadium for the Vodafone Warriors' home game against the Bulldogs last year, the first time they taken a game outside Auckland. The crowd of 30,112 was a record for rugby league match in Wellington. Image: Photosport
All roads lead to the Capital for the Vodafone Warriors this week as they eye a tripleheader against Wests Tigers at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on Saturday (March 29; match day sponsor: Vodafone).
The Vodafone Warriors’ NRL and NYC teams return home to Auckland later this afternoon after securing their first wins of the season last night.
The NRL team’s 20-16 victory over North Queensland was their first in Townsville since 2002 while the Vodafone Junior Warriors overwhelmed the Cowboys 50-12, the first time they’d beaten them there since the competition started in 2008.
Along with the club’s New South Wales Cup team (which had a bye this weekend), the NRL and NYC sides now switch attention to their tripleheader day at Westpac Stadium.
It starts with the Vodafone Junior Warriors taking on the Tigers in the NYC clash (12.40pm) followed by the New South Wales Cup encounter between the two sides (2.40pm) and the NRL fixture (5.05pm).
The Vodafone Warriors’ NSW Cup players are back in training tomorrow while the NRL and NYC sides have a recovery day before they’re back at the club on Tuesday and Wednesday.
While the Vodafone Warriors are now on the board they face a challenging test from Wests Tigers in the NRL fixture. They started their 20-14 campaign with a 24-44 loss to St George Illawarra but have recovered by trouncing Gold Coast 42-12 away and outpointing the highly-fancied South Sydney 25-16 last Friday night.
“We showed plenty of courage in beating the Cowboys and we’ll need that and a lot more against Wests Tigers in Wellington,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Matthew Elliott.
“They’ve been outstanding over the last two weeks showing us once again what we all know about this competition. Every week is a challenge and we need to be in the best possible shape to meet that challenge again next weekend.
“It’s exciting for us going to Wellington. While we didn’t get the result we were after against the Bulldogs last year we weren’t disappointed with the event. The people from the Wellington area and regions nearby, not to mention members and fans who flew in from further afield, made a huge effort.”
While the NRL playing squad arrives in Wellington on Friday, an advance crew will head to the Capital on Wednesday for some community and promotional events in the days leading up to game day as well as being involved in activities around game day itself. Among the planned events are school visits and sponsor promotions.