You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Vodafone Warriors v Dragons

Date: Friday, May 19, 2017

Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Game day hashtag: #NRLWarriorsDragons


Key timings

Gates open: 5.30pm

NYC kick-off: 5.45pm - Vodafone Warriors v St. George Illawarra Dragons

NRL kick-off: 8.00pm - Vodafone Warriors v St. George Illawarra Dragons



The Vodafone Warriors head south for their first-ever home game in Hamilton when they dance under the Friday night lights in their 11th-round NRL clash against St George Illawarra at FMG Waikato Stadium.

On the field, it will be a huge night for Ben Matulino as he runs out for his 200th NRL appearance in his 10th and final first-grade season with the club while experienced second-rower Bodene Thompson is set for his 50th match for the Vodafone Warriors (his 135th career match).

Off the field, it will be a big week with the Vodafone Warriors making their presence felt in the local community with a programme of school visits and appearances – including the NRL squad’s signing session at The Base on Thursday – and game day entertainment and activities at the stadium.

A key game day focus will be supporting the fight against brain cancer in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation. Hughes, for former Newcastle Knights fullback, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 and subsequently established the foundation.

Other game day features include the popular mini and mod games, the Canterbury of New Zealand T -shirt cannon, a ‘kick and catch, competition for tickets to Rugby League World Cup 2017 matches later this year, a ‘what happens next?’ quiz, the official Ray White Coin Toss and much more.




Signing Session | The Base

After their final pre-match training session at FMG Waikato Stadium on Thursday, the public can meet the Vodafone Warriors at a signing session at The Base next to the Vodafone Store at Te Awa Shopping Centre in Te Rapa.

Fans will be able to get autographs, have photos taken and mix and mingle with the playing squad from 4.00pm-5.00pm.


Harvey Norman Community Warriors

The Vodafone Warriors have a packed schedule mapped out on Thursday and Friday this week including visits to schools, a Konica Minolta League in Libraries visit, a signing with the full NRL squad at The Base in Te Rapa and a tenpin bowling event with winners of a SKYCITY competition.

  • Wednesday:
  • Tenpin bowling event with winners of a SKYCITY competition, SKYCITY Bowling Alley.
  • Thursday:
  • School visits rolling out ACC SportSmart and KidsCan ‘Raincoats for Kids’ programmes plus a Konica Minolta League in Libraries visit joining two schools at Chartwell Library.
  • Friday:
  • Visits to six schools across Hamilton




Beanie for Brain Cancer Campaign

Channel Nine and Fox Sports are standing united by backing the cause.

Players across the NRL have been encouraged to support the campaign by wearing beanies to support the Mark Hughes Foundation.

The Vodafone Warriors and the referees for Friday’s match against the Dragons will be wearing the Vodafone Warriors’ Canterbury of New Zealand-made beanies before the game and then throwing them to fans in the crowd ($10 from every CCC beanie sold at FMG Waikato Stadium will be donated to the Mark Hughes Foundation).


Mini and mod games

The always-popular mini and mod games are again on the programme, as they usually are for home games at Mount Smart.

There’ll be games for under nines and under sevens from Taniwharau, Otumoetai, Hamilton City Tigers, Te Iti Rerea, Turangawaewae and Hukanui.


Canterbury of New Zealand T-shirt canon

The Canterbury of New Zealand T-shirt cannon will be in action from 7.40pm. If you catch a T-shirt, head to Gate 3 inside the Brian Perry Stand post-match and you’ll have the chance to meet the players afterwards and have your T-shirt signed.


RLWC2017 ‘kick and catch’ competition

Look out for your opportunity to win tickets to Rugby League World Cup 2017. Tickets will be up for grabs in a ‘kick and catch’ competition at halftime in the NRL match. To get involved, register at the RLWC2017 tent in the WEL Network Stadium for your chance to win a family pass to the Toa Samoa v Mate Ma’a Tonga match at FMG Stadium Waikato. Three contestants will be drawn from all entries before kick-off. They will be asked to Vodafone Warriors staff at the RLWC2017 tent.

For the competition, all three contestants will stand in a row on the 40-metre line with a kicker (last time it was Vodafone Warriors legend Francis Meli) will stand 15 metres away. The contestants will be spun on the spot one-by-one and must catch the ball as it is kicked in the air. If they drop the ball, they are out and the last contestant remaining wins the tickets. Those who are knocked out early will still receive RLWC2017 t-shirts.


‘What happens next?’ quiz

There’ll be a second game at halftime – a ‘what happens next?’ quiz involving four Vodafone Warriors members. They will be asked a multi choice question with the answers being locked in. The contestant with the most correct answers wins with great prizes available.


Lucky seat winner

On Friday night, there will also be a prize package for someone in a lucky seat number. Be in your seat at halftime and if your seat number is called out, show your ticket to one of our Vodafone Warriors staff members in the aisles and you’ll be able to claim your prize pack.


Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

Principal Partner

Major Partners

Official Sponsors

View All Partners