Adam Blair’s 300th NRL appearance and the club’s 600th game loom as two of the most significant milestones in the offing as the Vodafone Warriors prepare to mark their 25th season in the competition.
Blair, who turns 33 in March, is set to start the season just 11 games away from becoming only the third New Zealander to appear in 300 NRL matches. Across 13 seasons he has amassed 289 appearances for Melbourne, Wests Tigers, Brisbane and the Vodafone Warriors.
His 300th outing is poised to be against his former Broncos side at Mount Smart Stadium on May 25 as he looks to join former Kiwis Ruben Wiki and Simon Mannering. He will be the fifth player to reach the mark while at the Vodafone Warriors following Wiki, Steve Price, Ryan Hoffman and Mannering.
In a double celebration, playmaker Blake Green is in line to play his 150th first grade game on the same day Blair hits 300.
The major team milestone of 600 games in the competition will be achieved in the 14th-round match against Gold Coast at Cbus Stadium on June 14. Also due to coincide with that match are captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s 150th appearance and centre Solomone Kata’s 100th game.
The season-opening match against Canterbury-Bankstown will be head coach Stephen Kearney’s 50th for the Vodafone Warriors while he will achieve his 100th game as an NRL head coach in the NRL Magic Round encounter with St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium on May 11.
POTENTIAL MILESTONES IN 2019
(current totals in brackets)
March 16 v Canterbury-Bankstown, Mount Smart Stadium • Stephen Kearney (49) | 50th game as Vodafone Warriors head coach
April 20 v North Queensland, Mount Smart Stadium
Bunty Afoa (44) | 50th appearance
May 11 v St George Illawarra, Suncorp Stadium
Stephen Kearney (91) | 100th game as NRL head coach
May 25 v Brisbane, Mount Smart Stadium
Adam Blair (289) | 300th appearance
Blake Green (139) | 150th appearance
June 14 v Gold Coast, Cbus Super Stadium
Vodafone Warriors (587) | 600th match
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (137) | 150th appearance
Solomone Kata (87) | 100th appearance (24th player to reach the 100-game for the Vodafone Warriors)
July 6 v Newcastle, McDonald Jones Stadium
Jazz Tevaga (35) | 50th appearance
July 13 v Brisbane, Suncorp Stadium
Tohu Harris (134) | 150th appearance
August 9 v Manly-Warringah, Mount Smart Stadium
David Fusitu'a (80) | 100th appearance (25th player to reach the 100-game for the Vodafone Warriors)
August 18 v Sydney Roosters, Sydney Cricket Ground
Leeson Ah Mau (179) | 200th appearance
August 24 v Cronulla-Sutherland, Westpac Stadium
Agnatius Paasi (78) | 100th appearance
September 7 v Canberra, GIO Stadium
Gerard Beale (176) | 200th appearance
Other milestones which could be achieved in the finals:
Sam Lisone (74) | 100th appearance for Vodafone Warriors (26th player to reach the 100-game for the Vodafone Warriors)
Isaiah Papali'i (25) | 50th appearance for Vodafone Warriors
Agnatius Paasi (24) | 50th appearance for Vodafone Warriors
Adam Blair (23) | 50th appearance for Vodafone Warriors
Blake Green (22) | 50th appearance for Vodafone Warriors
Peta Hiku (22) | 50th appearance for Vodafone Warriors
50 NRL tries:
47 | Gerard Beale
47 | Blake Ayshford
46 | Issac Luke
44 | Solomone Kata
42 | Roger Tuivasa-Sheck