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We’ve gone back 20 years to highlight one of the Vodafone Warriors’ most lethal combinations in today’s edition of Throwback Thursday presented by Mazda.

It’s from the eighth-round encounter with the Sydney Roosters at Ericsson Stadium, as it was then, on March 26, 2000.

It was a special day as Stacey Jones made his long-awaited comeback after missing the opening seven rounds of the season as he recovered from his broken left arm suffered in the Kiwis’ one-off Test against Tonga six months earlier.

Coming off just one win and a draw in the first seven matches of the season, the Vodafone Warriors were desperate to have their best player back. And, wearing a protective guard on his injured arm, Jones had a major influence on the outcome of the contest as the Vodafone Warriors held on for a 26-22 victory.

The moment his teammates, coaching staff and fans were waiting for came in the 16th minute of the match when the play maker extraordinaire engaged the line, serving up a delightful short ball to send Ali Lauitiiti on a 30-metre run to the line for a stunning try.

The champion halfback was at it again in the second half, breaching the Roosters’ defence close to their line and off-loading to prop Terry Hermansson, who juggled the ball and held on to score.

And finally it was Jones’ sharp thinking with a quick tap from a penalty which delivered the match-winner for Cliff Beverley.

March 26, 2000

At Ericsson Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Warriors 26 (Ali Lauitiiti, Logan Swann, Terry Hermansson, Cliff Beverley tries; John Simon 4 conversions, penalty).

Sydney Roosters 22 (Craig Fitzgibbon, Ian Rubin, Luke Phillips, Anthony Minichiello tries; Luke Phillips 2 conversions; Craig Fitzgibbon penalty).

Halftime: 18-14 Roosters.


Vodafone Warriors | Cliff Beverley; Shontayne Hape, David Myles, Nigel Vagana, Lee Oudenryn; John Simon, Stacey Jones; Joe Vagana, Robert Mears, Terry Hermansson; Logan Swann, Ali Lauitiiti; Jason Death. Interchange: Monty Betham, Henry Fa’afili, Tony Tuimavave, Jerry Seuseu.

Sydney Roosters | Luke Phillips; Richie Barnett, Shannon Hegarty, Matt Sing, Anthony Minichiello; Brad Fittler, Adrian Lam; Ian Rubin, Simon Bonetti, Nelson Lomi; Bryan Fletcher, Craig Fitzgibbon; Shane Rigon. Interchange: Luke Ricketson, David Solomona, Craig Wing, Dallas Hood.

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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