Ex-pat New Zealanders will again be a key factor for the Vodafone Warriors when they make the NRL’s longest trip to face Manly at nib Stadium in Perth next Saturday (3.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).
This will be the sixth straight year the Vodafone Warriors have made the trek to Western Australia and every time they’ve enjoyed exceptional support from relocated Kiwis.
They’re hoping for more of the same again this week as they seek to create history by claiming the club’s first win in nine attempts in Western Australia.
“It’s fantastic the way the Kiwis turn out every time we play in Perth and we’d love to see them out in force again to support the team this week,” said Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle.
“We’re coming off a good period right now with wins over the Broncos, the Titans and the Bulldogs in our last four games which makes this a really important week for us.”
Following Friday night’s 21-14 win over the Bulldogs, the Vodafone Warriors have a restricted build-up at home this week before flying out on Thursday morning, their Air New Zealand flight scheduled to land in Perth at 2.25pm.
The Vodafone Warriors and Manly played out an epic contest in atrocious weather at nib Stadium last year, the Sea Eagles winning 15-14 through a Daly Cherry-Evans golden point field goal.
The result underlined Manly’s standing as one of the Vodafone Warriors’ most difficult opponents. It has won 21 of the 29 encounters since the two clubs first met in 1995.
While the majority of their clashes have typically been played at Mount Smart Stadium or Brookvale Oval, nib Stadium is one of six other venues used since 2008.
First came their preliminary final match-up at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2008 and then the 2011 grand final at ANZ Stadium.
The 2012 season started with the Vodafone Warriors taking their first-round home game – and grand final rematch – to Eden Park, before Manly hosted the Vodafone Warriors at Patersons Stadium (Subiaco Oval) in Perth later that year and then Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford in 2013.