Fans are in for a real challenge deciding which one of three classic Vodafone Warriors matches against Melbourne should feature on Game Day Saturday on Sky Sport’s home of rugby league at 3.00pm on Saturday (May 23).
Putting up these three all-time contests coincides with our originally scheduled 11th-round match against the Storm at Mount Smart Stadium this Saturday before the 2020 season was suspended.
Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period, the Vodafone Warriors have teamed up with Sky Sport to bring fans a taste of the best from the past to the specially created Game Day Saturday slot. The opponents we’ve featured have been:
- Wests Tigers (28-26 at Leichhardt Oval in 2008)
- St George Illawarra (44-16 at Mount Smart Stadium 2007)
- Sydney Roosters (17-16 at Mount Smart Stadium in 2009)
- Melbourne (28-14 at Mount Smart Stadium in 2015)
- Parramatta (48-0 at Mount Smart Stadium in 2014)
- Canterbury-Bankstown (36-16 at Mount Smart Stadium 2008)
- Gold Coast (34-12 at Cbus Super Stadium 2017)
This week’s contenders against the Storm were all away fixtures. Now it’s over to you to vote for the match you’d like to see from the three options below.
August 19, 2006
Olympic Park, Melbourne
Storm fans were in party mode pre-game expecting the Melbourne Storm to overcome the Vodafone Warriors to complete an unbeaten season at home.
They hadn’t lost in 15 games at Olympic Park stretching back to June 2005 and they’d had just one loss in their last 17 games when the Vodafone Warriors came to town.
But the Ivan Cleary-coached side sniffed an opportunity to spoil the party and did just that. The clincher was a spectacular effort, the Vodafone Warriors striking from their own 20 with Manu Vatuvei making a long break to put fullback Brent Webb over for his second.
Melbourne Storm 20 (Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Matt King, Steve Turner tries; Cameron Smith 2 conversions).
Vodafone Warriors 24 (Brent Webb 2, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei tries; Lance Hohaia 3 conversions, penalty).
Vodafone Warriors | Brent Webb; Patrick Ah Van, Lance Hohaia, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei; Jerome Ropati, Grant Rovelli; Ruben Wiki, George Gatis, Steve Price (c); Awen Guttenbeil, Micheal Luck; Louis Anderson. Interchange: Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Sam Rapira.
September 14, 2008
Olympic Park, Melbourne
The eighth-ranked Vodafone Warriors were seen as no-chance by almost everyone else for this one. The Storm had won the minor premiership the week before, edging Manly on points for and against after a big 42-4 win over South Sydney at Olympic Park.
The McIntyre finals system was still in place and, until then, the eighth-placed team had never beaten the minor premiers.
Cue history. In a contest for the ages, the teams were locked up 8-8 at halftime. First the Vodafone Warriors struck in the second half to lead 14-8 before it was tied up again at 14-14 through a converted Israel Folau try.
A Greg Inglis field goal had the Storm leading 15-14 as the battle headed into the closing minutes – but still enough time for Vodafone Warriors to uncork one of the most exceptional match winners in the history of finals football through Jerome Ropati and Manu Vatuvei combining to put Michael Witt away.
Melbourne Storm 15 (Israel Folau, Anthony Quinn tries; Cameron Smith conversion, 2 penalties; Greg Inglis field goal).
Vodafone Warriors 18 (Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Michael Witt tries; Michael Witt 2 conversions, penalty).
September 24, 2011
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
For the second time in three years the Vodafone Warriors and Melbourne featured in a finals football stunner.
The Vodafone Warriors had earned the right to take on the Storm for a place in the grand final after a last-gasp victory over Wests Tigers the previous week.
As had been typical of so many encounters between the two sides, there was little in it. At halftime the Vodafone Warriors led 14-12 and there it stayed for much of the second half as they defended heroically to keep their lead intact.
Not until the 77th minute was victory sealed when rookie halfback Shaun Johnson mesmerised the Storm’s right edge defensive line, bobbing and weaving to set Lewis Brown up for the winner.
Melbourne Storm 12 (Sika Manu, Beau Champion tries; Cameron Smith 2 conversions).
Vodafone Warriors 20 (Bill Tupou, James Maloney, Lewis Brown tries; James Maloney 3 conversions, penalty).