Sunday’s sixth-round NRL encounter at Eden Park will be the Vodafone Warriors’ 31st against Canterbury-Bankstown since joining the competition in 1995.
It will be the seventh different stadium the two teams have played at with the eighth coming up when they meet again at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton next month.
Of the 30 matches so far, the Vodafone Warriors have won 12 with two drawn. Seven of those victories have come at Mount Smart Stadium with the other five split between what is now ANZ Stadium, Sydney Showground, Belmore Sports Ground and even Parramatta Stadium, the ground the two teams used in their very first contest in 1995 (when the Auckland Warriors won 29-8).
It was 1999 before the Vodafone Warriors, then coached by Mark Graham, beat the Bulldogs for the first time in Auckland, prevailing 30-10 at Mount Smart Stadium with John Simon making his mark in what was just his second outing for his new club. Simon had just arrived from Parramatta and would go on to captain the club in 2000.
June 19, 1999
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Warriors 30 (Nigel Vagana 2, Joe Vagana, Stacey Jones, Odell Manuel, Sean Hoppe tries; John Simon 3 conversions).
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10 (Darren Britt, Daryl Halligan tries; Daryl Halligan conversion).
Referee: Paul McBlane.
Vodafone Warriors: Carl Doherty; Odell Manuel, Boycie Nelson, Nigel Vagana, Sean Hoppe; John Simon, Stacey Jones; Joe Vagana, Robert Mears, Terry Hermansson; Tony Tuimavave, Logan Swann; Jason Death. Interchange: Jerry Seuseu, Ali Lauitiiti, Cliff Beverley, Shane Endacott.
Coach: Mark Graham.