Constant Trans-Tasman travel is routine for Vodafone Warriors teams but the club’s NYC team is going to new levels as it keeps its 2015 finals campaign alive.

When the side flies out with Air New Zealand to Brisbane on Thursday for Friday’s preliminary final against Penrith, the staff and players will be embarking on their fifth consecutive Trans-Tasman return trip in as many weeks.

Including this week’s trip they would have travelled more than 24,000km in five weeks, sat in planes for about 36 hours and been in airports for countless more hours.

It started with back-to-back trips to Sydney for the team’s final two regular season matches against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium (August 30) and Canterbury-Bankstown at ANZ Stadium (September 06).

The Vodafone Junior Warriors, qualifying seventh, were on the plane home on Monday before flying back to Sydney on Thursday for their elimination final against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday, September 11.

Last Friday the staff assembled at Auckland International Airport at 4.00am and the players at 5.00am before flying to Brisbane. With a five-hour stop-over, the team trained in Brisbane and then had a two-hour flight to Townsville, finally settling in at their hotel after a 15-hour travel day ahead of Saturday’s elimination semi-final.

Buoyed by their 45-10 win over Brisbane, they made the long trip home yesterday and have just three full days in Auckland before travelling to Brisbane on Thursday to face the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium – their fifth different venue in five weeks – on Friday.

Last year’s Vodafone Junior Warriors also clocked up Airpoints™ galore with five consecutive return trips en route to winning the grand final against Brisbane. A key difference was all their matches were in Sydney.

After qualifying eighth with a draw in their last regular season match at Penrith their first two finals games were at Allianz Stadium against the Roosters and Newcastle before back-to-back games against Parramatta and then the grand final against Brisbane at ANZ Stadium.

This week’s contest in Brisbane will be the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ 23rd finals match since the competition began in 2008 (all played in Australia). Having made the play-offs every season they have won 17 of their 22 finals so far, their last six on end. No other club comes close to those numbers.

They have scored a total of 791 points and conceded 507 in their 22 play-offs, equating to an average winning score of 36-23.

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS | TRAVEL SCHEDULE

August 30 | v Tigers, Campbelltown Sports Stadium | Drew 16-16

  • Auckland-Sydney-Auckland
  • Distance: 4320km
  • Total flying time: 6h 30m

September 06 | v Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium | Won 30-14

  • Auckland-Sydney-Auckland
  • Distance: 4320km
  • Total flying time: 6h 30m

September 11 | v Roosters, Allianz Stadium | Won 32-22

  • Auckland-Sydney-Auckland
  • Distance: 4320km
  • Total flying time: 6h 30m

September 19 | v Broncos, 1300SMILES Stadium | Won 45-10

  • Auckland-Brisbane-Townsville-Brisbane-Auckland
  • Distance: 6830km
  • Total flying time: 10h 30m

September 25 | v Panthers, Suncorp Stadium

  • Auckland-Brisbane-Auckland
  • Distance: 4580km
  • Total flying time: 6h 30m

Total distance: 24,370km

Total flying time: 36h 30m

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS – NYC FINALS RECORD 2008-2015

2008  St George Illawarra | Won 47-20

          Penrith | Won 38-4

          Brisbane | Lost 26-28

2009  St George Illawarra | Lost 24-48

2010  Manly | Won 25-22

          Canterbury-Bankstown | Won 23-16

          South Sydney | Won 42-28 (grand final)

2011  Newcastle | Won 54-6

          Canterbury-Bankstown | Won 64-0

          North Queensland | Won 31-30 (grand final)

2012  Canberra | Lost 38-39

          Sydney Roosters | Lost 10-26

2013  South Sydney | Won 20-18

          Sydney Roosters | Won 58-6

          Canterbury-Bankstown | Won 54-38

          Penrith | Lost 30-42 (grand final)

2014  Sydney Roosters | Won 44-30

          Newcastle | Won 23-16

          Parramatta | Won 29-26

          Brisbane | Won 34-32 (grand final)

2015  Sydney Roosters | Won 32-22

          Brisbane | Won  45-10

 

NRL & NYC FINALS SERIES

Friday, September 25

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

NRL | Preliminary Final: Brisbane (2) v Sydney Roosters (1), 7.55pm

NYC | Preliminary Final: Penrith (1) v Vodafone Warriors (7), 5.15pm

Saturday, September 26

AAMI Park, Melbourne

NRL | Preliminary Final: Melbourne (4) v North Queensland (3), 7.40pm

NYC | Preliminary Final: North Queensland (2) v Manly (4), 5.00pm