After a break of four years – four years and eight days to be precise – the Vodafone Warriors and Parramatta at last clash again at Mount Smart Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm kick-off; match day sponsor: TNT).
The two clubs met just once in each of the 2011, 2012 ad 2013 seasons – at Eden Park in 2011 and Parramatta Stadium the next two years – before being scheduled for home and away meetings this season.
When they last met at Mount Smart on July 4, 2010, the regular season was entering its 17th round with the Vodafone Warriors sitting ninth on 18 points, two ahead of the Eels in 10th on 16 points. This time the competition is advanced a week going into its 18th round with the Vodafone Warriors seventh on 20 points (points for and against: plus 22) and Parramatta also on 20 but in ninth spot (points for and against: minus 34).
On a wet winter’s night in front of a crowd of only 9912 the 2010 Vodafone Warriors produced one of their biggest wins of the year – 35-6 – en route to finishing the regular season in fifth spot on 32 points.
After being inside the top eight for several weeks in the initial stage of the season, the Vodafone Warriors had slipped off the pace with heavy losses to Penrith, Melbourne and Wests Tigers but the 29-point margin over Parramatta lifted them back into the eight where they would stay for the rest of the journey.
July 4, 2010
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Warriors 35 (Lewis Brown 2, James Maloney, Ben Matulino, Ukuma Ta’ai, Manu Vatuvei tries; James Maloney 5 goals; Isaac John field goal).
Parramatta Eels 6 (Tom Humble try; Luke Burt goal).
Referees | Gavin Badger and Ashley Klein.
Crowd | 9912.
Vodafone Warriors | Jerome Ropati; Bill Tupou, Joel Moon, Lewis Brown, Manu Vatuvei; James Maloney, Isaac John; Jesse Royal, Aaron Heremaia, Russell Packer; Simon Mannering (c), Ukuma Ta’ai; Micheal Luck. Interchange | Jeremy Latimore, Ian Henderson, Ben Matulino, Sione Lousi.
Coach | Ivan Cleary.
Parramatta Eels | Tom Humble; Luke Burt, Joel Reddy, Jonathan Wright, Krisnan Inu; Jeff Robson, Daniel Mortimer; Nathan Cayless (c), Matthew Keating, Fuifui Moimoi; Nathan Hindmarsh (c), Brendan Oake; Feleti Mateo. Interchange | Kris Keating, Justin Horo, Pele Peletelese, Manase Manuokofoa.
Coach: Daniel Anderson.