While there were plenty of heroes on the field as the Vodafone Warriors surged to their fifth straight win in their record start to an NRL season, there were 25,600 more off the field at Mount Smart Stadium last night.
It was the biggest regular season crowd at the venue in the last 23 years, the best since a number of huge attendances in the club’s debut campaign in 1995.
The only two crowds that have been bigger since were for the 2002 and 2007 home finals against Canberra and Parramatta. Indeed, last night’s attendance even topped the number for the 2008 home final against the Sydney Roosters.
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George was elated with the response from members and fans to the SKYCITY Auckland Double Header. The “sold out” announcement was made half an hour before the Wests Tigers and Melbourne launched the historic SKYCITY Double Header.
The Tigers stunned the Storm for the second time in a matter of weeks and later the Vodafone Warriors accounted for the North Queensland Cowboys 22-12. It was the second week running that they have toppled one of the season’s premiership favourites.
Afterwards head coach Stephen Kearney paid tribute to members and fans for their support, telling the media: “Just on the crowd, I thought they were wonderful.”
And they were. The Vodafone Warriors salute every one of the members and fans who were there for the historic SKYCITY Auckland Double Header, a night when both the team and the supporters combined to make history between them.
So what chance making it all happen again next Saturday when the Vodafone Warriors take on traditional rivals the Brisbane Broncos in what is the club’s Old Boys’ Day. The team will be kitted out in this year’s Heritage jersey, the one they were forced to wear in the 30-6 win over the Roosters after the theft of the away strip.
Let’s get to Mount Smart again and make the place rock once more.
VODAFONE WARRIORS | SELL-OUT CROWDS SINCE 1995
28,745 | NRL Finals | v Parramatta, September 7, 2007 | Lost 10-12
25,800 | NRL Finals | v Canberra, September 15, 2002 | Won 36-20
25,600 | Regular season | v North Queensland, April 7, 2018 | Won 22-12
25,585 | NRL Finals | v Sydney Roosters, September 19, 2008 | Won 30-13
25,070 | Regular season | v Manly, August 26, 2007 | Won 36-14