Three classic contests of the highest quality were in contention but the fans have sided strongly with the Vodafone Warriors’ 2011 finals win over Melbourne to feature on Game Day Saturday at 3.00pm tomorrow on Sky Sport’s home of rugby league (Sky Sport 4, channel 54).
The Vodafone Warriors’ outstanding 20-12 win claimed 54 per cent of the votes to head off the 18-15 2008 final triumph (24 percent) and the 24-20 upset in 2006 (22 per cent).
So, tune in to Sky Sport tomorrow to relive history, exactly a week out from the Vodafone Warriors resuming their 2020 campaign.
Vodafone Warriors Game Day Saturday
3.00pm, Saturday, May 23, 2020
SS4, Channel 54
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).
Halftime: 14-12 Vodafone Warriors.
Referees: Matt Cecchin and Tony Archer.
Vodafone Warriors | Kevin Locke; Bill Tupou, Lewis Brown, Krisnan Inu, Manu Vatuvei; James Maloney, Shaun Johnson; Russell Packer, Lance Hohaia, Jacob Lillyman; Elijah Taylor, Simon Mannering (c); Micheal Luck. Interchange: Sam Rapira, Aaron Heremaia, Feleti Mateo, Ben Matulino.
Melbourne | Billy Slater; Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Beau Champion, Anthony Quinn; Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk; Jesse Bromich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie; Kevin Proctor, Sika Manu; Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ryan Hinchcliffe, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe, Atelea Vea.