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As good as it gets for Friday Night Lights

It doesn’t get much better than this for the first Friday night game of the year – table toppers the St George Illawarra Dragons coming to Auckland to face the record-setting Vodafone Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium.

After a run of six straight Saturday matches, Friday Night Lights footy sparks up this week with two teams boasting just one loss in 12 games between them to date. It’s a night no Vodafone Warriors member or fan should dare to miss.

The Dragons have gone six matches without defeat to sit alone on top of the ladder while the Vodafone Warriors, lying third on points differential on 10 points, have just the one loss after opening the season with five consecutive victories, obliterating the previous best start to a campaign of two wins (achieved in 2007 and 2009).

So, Mount Smart Stadium is where it’s at for this Friday’s eagerly-anticipated showdown (8.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Vodafone).

After donning their 2018 Heritage strip on Old Boys’ Day last Saturday, the Vodafone Warriors will be back in their traditional black kit this week hoping to play in front of another huge crowd to match the monster turnout of 25,600 for the 22-12 win over North Queensland in the SKYCITY Auckland Double Header on April 7.

“This game has been selling really strongly and we’d love to see our members and all fans turn out in big numbers to support the boys,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“We had a setback last week but we’ve started the season really well just the same and the Dragons have been absolutely sensational. This is a terrific contest, one everyone should want to be at.”

This is the third of the club’s run of three straight home matches and their biggest test yet before they head to Melbourne just five days later for the annual Anzac Day encounter.

Aside from the Friday Night Lights theme, there’ll be a fund of special features, activities and attractions wrapped around the on-field action.



6.00pm | Gates open

8.00pm | NRL | Vodafone Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons




  • Entertainment Precinct:
  • The revamped Members’ Clubrooms were a big hit in their first week back in operation in their regular location last Saturday. Great place to meet before the game and afterwards. Members-only venue.
  • The Woodstock Bar is again open for business as it will be for every home game for the rest of the season. Open to all fans.
  • Play Grandstand Millionaire. Download Vodafone’s Stadium Live app to play. Your challenge is to guess the try-scorers in exact order in the Vodafone Warriors v St George Illawarra match.
  • The merchandise van will be on hand again. Look out for a game day offer from the black range.
  • Drums of the Pacific will be performing before the match and throughout the contest.
  • The Suzuki Swift Road Warrior will be on show. Make sure you register to go in the draw for your chance to win this great set of wheels at the end of the season.
  • Harvey Norman Community Warriors will have lots of activities on offer including Smile Dealers’ photo activation and war paint stations from Body FX.


Other entertainment:

  • Two flame balls, set up on the hill behind the Entertainment Precinct, will add to the night-time atmosphere.
  • Pukana cam. Watch out for it. You could be on the big screen showing off your best pukana.
  • Enjoy watching our regular Woodstock ‘Kick for Cash’ competition at halftime.
  • ACC Big Warm-Up and mini mod footy in the build-up to the big game.
  • Coin toss involving rival captains Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Gareth Widdop plus a lucky Vodafone Warriors member. This is due to take place about 6.30pm in the middle of the field.
  • Keep your eyes out for Tiki, who’ll be putting on some moves throughout the day.
  • The CCC T-Shirt Cannon will be in business again. Which player will be firing it?
  • Vodafone Stadium Live app is a great in-game tool. Download it.
  • Free trains to and from Mount Smart Stadium for fans holding membership cards or pre-purchased tickets (remember to hold onto your ticket for the return trip after the game).
  • No cheerleaders.
  • Enjoy the much-improved Entertainment Precinct. This includes an Astro-turfed food alley with seating and places to hang out.
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.

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