Commonwealth Games athletes, gumboot throwing, stubbies, Kiwi music and New Zealand players galore will add up to Kiwiana-plus when the Vodafone Warriors entertain the Wests Tigers in Saturday’s ninth-round encounter at Mount Smart Stadium (7.30pm kick-off; game day sponsor: TNT).
In another feature, the Raiders’ match against Gold Coast in Canberra (5.00pm kick-off), will be shown live on the big screen as a lead-up to the main event (gates open at 4.45pm). So, arrive early for a double fix of NRL football.
Following New Zealand’s medal-laden campaign at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, a group of team members will be special guests this week. They’ll be hosted in the Corporate Lounge and will also be introduced to the crowd on the field ahead of the NRL contest.
With May signalling the annual launch of New Zealand Music Month, Kiwi tunes will be airing throughout the evening and especially in the Entertainment Precinct where DJ Shape – aka former Vodafone Warrior Shontayne Hape – will be pumping them out.
Apart from the music, there’ll be plenty of Kiwiana activities and sights on the night, not least a gumboot throwing competition. To have a chance of securing one of the six spots available, fans must be wearing a pair of old-fashioned stubbies. They might like to get right in mood by also donning the obligatory black singlet, Swanndri and gumboots to make it classic-as Kiwi style. For tips and inspiration think Fred Dagg.
While there’ll be Kiwi touches around the stadium the most visible demonstration will be on the field from 7.30pm when the Vodafone Warriors meet the Tigers.
In the first eight rounds, the Vodafone Warriors fielded 16 New Zealanders and a sole Australian in Blake Green.
Outside the Vodafone Warriors, the Tigers boast more New Zealanders in their 2018 squad than any club. Among them are former Vodafone Warriors Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Elijah Taylor, Tuimoala Lolohea and Pita Godinet plus ex-Kiwi captain Benji Marshall.
GAME DAY DETAILS | v WESTS TIGERS, SATURDAY, MAY 5
4.45pm | Gates open
5.00pm | Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans (live on big screen)
7.30pm | NRL | Vodafone Warriors v Wests Tigers
- Commonwealth Games athletes making special appearance as guests in the Corporate Lounge as well as being acknowledged on-field about 6.50pm.
- Gumboot throwing and stubbie swap competition at halftime.
- DJ Shape rolling out plenty of New Zealand tunes in the Entertainment Precinct and no end of Kiwi music around the stadium. After all, May means New Zealand Music Month.
- Hug cam. Watch out for it. You could be on the big screen.
- 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 Manurewa Marlins v Richmond Rovers (under-11s), Papamoa Bulldogs v Hoterini (under-9s) and Hamilton City Tigers v Hoterini (under-7s).
- Coin toss involving the rival captains plus a lucky Vodafone Warriors member.
- Keep your eyes out for Tiki, who’ll be putting on some moves throughout the evening.
- The Canterbury of New Zealand 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.
- Also 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 Wests Tigers.
- 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.
- Entertainment Precinct:
- Make the most of the revamped Members’ Clubrooms. Great place to meet before the game and afterwards. Members-only venue including MC and post-match interviews.
- The Woodstock Bar is also a big game day attraction. It’s open for every home game. All fans are welcome.
- The food alley is a major game day attraction with an array of gourmet options in an area set off by an Astro-turf surface, fairy lights and places to hang out.
- 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 at Gate B and Gate C before the match and from the stage in the Entertainment Precinct 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 again have loads of activities on offer – bin pong, passing wall, face painting and Smile Dealers. Look out for Kiwiana theming.