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April 7 a huge day in club's history

So many key events have happened in the Vodafone Warriors’ history on April 7, right from the outset.

April 7, 1995

It was a Friday night, the then-named Ericsson Stadium jammed to the rafters with 30,000-plus fans as Dean Bell led the Auckland Warriors out for the club’s inaugural encounter with Manly-Warringah, the team that had been New Zealand’s favourite until the Warriors arrived. It didn’t work out well on the field for the home side as the Sea Eagles won 26-14 but this was another huge event in the club’s landmark debut season.

April 7, 1997

It took just three attempts for the Vodafone Warriors to claim their first win over glamour side the Canberra Raiders. After losing 8-15 at home in 1995 and 6-30 away in 1996, the Warriors were in Canberra for a Monday night Super League battle. In a terrific match, each side scored five tries but former All Black Marc Ellis made the difference by converting all five tries and kicking a vital late field goal.

April 7, 1999

On this day in 1999, the Warriors, now under new ownership, announced the most critical signing in the club’s short history by securing the prodigiously talented Stacey Jones for a further three years. From the moment he made his first-grade debut against Parramatta in 1995, Jones was seemingly destined to rank as one of the game’s true greats. That he would prove beyond doubt over and over again. By the end of the 1999 season he would become the first player to make 100 first-grade appearances for the club.

April 7, 2001

On a Saturday night, a crowd of 27,724 turned out at Wellington’s Westpac Trust Stadium for the Bulldogs’ transferred home game against the Vodafone Warriors. This would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary matches in NRL history, not that it seemed that way with the Bulldogs leading 24-8 with only six minutes to play. Remarkably, though, the Warriors scored three tries to level up 24-24 and would have won but for Stacey Jones missing a handy conversion with time up.

April 7, 2014

Head coach Matthew Elliott is sacked by the Vodafone Warriors after the club’s fifth-round 6-37 loss to Cronulla-Sutherland. Andrew McFadden is appointed as interim coach.

April 7, 2018

A sell-out crowd of 25,600 is jammed into Mount Smart Stadium for the historic first NRL double header played in New Zealand. Apart from the club's debut season in 1995, it's the Vodafone Warriors' biggest crowd for a regular season NRL match and the first time the ground has been sold out for a non-finals match since the 2007 round 24 encounter with Manly. The Vodafone Warriors racked up their fifth straight win to open the season by beating North Queensland 22-12.

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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