Wollongong, New South Wales, April 28, 1996 – The Auckland Warriors avenged a disastrous first visit to Wollongong last year with an impressive 30-20 win over the Illawarra Steelers in their fifth-round ARL premiership clash at Wollongong Showground.
In just the second outing of their debut campaign in 1995, the John Monie-coached side slumped to a 28-40 loss at the same venue on a day when centre Brett Rodwell scored four tries for the Steelers.
There was no such repeat this time as the Auckland Warriors outscored the home side five tries to three with the three goal kickers on display boasting a 100 per cent strike rate.
The clash was the second for the two sides inside the first five weeks of the season, the Warriors prevailing 18-10 when the teams met in Auckland on March 31.
At Wollongong Showground, Wollongong
Illawarra Steelers 20 (John Cross, Shaun Timmins, Kyle White tries; Rod Wishart 3 conversions, penalty).
Auckland Warriors 30 (Greg Alexander, Phil Blake, Marc Ellis, Stacey Jones, Tony Tatupu tries; Gene Ngamu 3 conversions; Gavin Hill 2 conversions).
Referee: Rob Alexander.
Illawarra | David Riolo; Rod Wishart, Shaun Timmins, Brett Rodwell, Fili Seru; Craig Simon, Glen Air; Darren Fritz, Bred Hepi, David Walsh; Brad Mackay, Darrien Doherty; John Cross (c). Interchange: Kyle White, Wayne Richards, Brendan O’Meara, Andrew Purcell.
Warriors | John Kirwan; Sean Hoppe, Richie Blackmore, Tea Ropati, Marc Ellis; Stacey Jones, Greg Alexander (c); Gavin Hill, Phil Blake, Andy Platt; Denis Betts, Stephen Kearney; Mark Horo. Interchange: Gene Ngamu, Joe Vagana, Tony Tatupu, Awen Guttenbeil.