Vodafone Warriors members and fans can now plan the entire 2018 NRL season following the release of a draw which breaks from recent tradition by listing full details for every match.
A regular season schedule kicking off against South Sydney in Perth on Saturday, March 10 winds up with the Vodafone Warriors hosting back-to-back Friday night home games against Penrith on August 24 and Canberra on August 31.
The first home match at Mount Smart Stadium is against Gold Coast on St Patrick’s Day (Saturday, March 17).
“The big change is that the NRL has had full control of the draw this time allowing clubs to plan for 2018 with real certainty,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“For the first time our members and fans can look at the draw and know exactly where and when the Vodafone Warriors are playing each and every round. That makes it so much easier for them as well as us in terms of looking at our home game days and weekly football schedules for our teams.”
A highlight of the just-released draw is a festival of football in April when the Vodafone Warriors will have three straight games at Mount Smart Stadium.
It starts against North Queensland on Saturday, April 7 – the historic doubleheader also involving Wests Tigers and Melbourne – followed by Brisbane on Saturday, April 14 and St George Illawarra on Friday, April 20.
Another feature is a midseason sequence of six consecutive matches against top eight sides starting with Manly in Christchurch on Saturday, June 9, North Queensland in Townsville on June 15, Cronulla at Mount Smart Stadium on June 29, away to Penrith (July 6) and Brisbane (July 15) and Melbourne in Auckland on July 22. The sequence is broken up by the stand-alone weekend for Origin II set down for Sunday, June 24.
Of the 12 home games, six are against 2017 top eight clubs, six are on Saturdays, five on Friday nights and one on a Sunday. Overall the Vodafone Warriors have 11 Saturday games, eight on Friday nights, four on Sundays and one on a Wednesday (Anzac Day against Melbourne).
“It’s exciting having such an intense programme in April, including the doubleheader,” said George.
“Another feature of the draw is the strong flavour of Friday night and Saturday matches at home.
“They present us with different models and we’re working on initiatives to make each and every one of them memorable for everyone who comes along. We’re certainly out to put on a St Patrick’s Day party atmosphere for our first home game.”
This is the first draw of the post-Anzac Test era. With no representative weekend in May, the NRL has created a stand-alone weekend for Origin II in late June while the Vodafone Warriors will also have a bye in round 13 coinciding with Queen’s Birthday weekend in New Zealand (June 2-4).
They’re away to the Sydney Roosters on March 31 over the Easter holiday period (March 30-April 2) and are at home to the same opponents on May 12, the day before Mother’s Day.
The clubs the Vodafone Warriors face once in 2018 are Cronulla (home), Newcastle (home), Wests Tigers (home), Manly (away), Parramatta (away) and Canterbury-Bankstown (away). They are home and away to the other nine clubs.
- CLICK HERE to synch the Vodafone Warriors’ draw to your mobile.
VODAFONE WARRIORS | 2018 NRL DRAW
(NB: local kick-off times listed)
1 Sat March 10 | 4.00pm | Rabbitohs, nib Stadium, Perth
2 Sat March 17 | 5.00pm | Titans, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
3 Sat March 24 | 3.00pm | Raiders, GIO Stadium, Canberra
4 Sat March 31 | 5.30pm | Roosters, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
5 Sat April 7 | 7.30pm (doubleheader) | Cowboys, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
6 Sat April 14 | 5.00pm | Broncos, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
7 Fri April 20 | 8.00pm | Dragons, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
8 Wed April 25 | 7.00pm | Storm, AAMI Park, Melbourne
9 Sat May 5 | 7.30pm | Wests Tigers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
10 Sat May 12 | 5.00pm | Roosters, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
11 Fri May 18 | 6.00pm | Eels, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
12 Sat May 26 | 7.30pm | Rabbitohs, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
14 Sat June 9 | 5.00pm | Sea Eagles, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
15 Fri June 15 | 6.00pm | Cowboys, 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
16 Fri June 29 | 8.00pm | Sharks, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
17 Fri July 6 | 7.50pm | Panthers, Panthers Stadium, Penrith
18 Sun July 15 | 2.00pm | Broncos, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
19 Sun July 22 | 4.00pm | Storm, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
20 Sun July 29 | 2.00pm | Titans, Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
21 Sat August 4 | 3.00pm | Dragons, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
22 Fri August 10 |8.00pm | Knights, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
23 Sun August 19 | 2.00pm | Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
24 Fri August 24 | 8.00pm | Panthers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
25 Fri August 31 | 8.00pm | Raiders, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
1 September 7-9 | Qualifying Semi Finals
2 September 14-15 | Semi Finals
3 September 21-22 | Preliminary Finals
4 September 30 | Grand Final