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Wade McKinnon was an explosive force throughout his career-best campaign in 2007, his debut season with the Vodafone Warriors after being signed from Parramatta.

His 70-metre try against Penrith stands as one of the most remarkable solo efforts in NRL history but it was a moment that had plenty of company.

It seemed almost every time McKinnon touched the ball that season something was going to happen and it usually did.

Like the 18th-round clash against St George Illawarra in July.

It was close to halftime, the Vodafone Warriors uncorking a vintage display on their way to a 32-12 halftime lead that would become a 44-16 victory.

Rangi Chase popped a last tackle kick into space inside the Vodafone Warriors’ 20, Manu Vatuvei swooped to collect it on the bounce, drew defenders and then popped a wonderful off load out the back to, who else, but McKinnon, a support player extraordinaire.

From the instant McKinnon latched onto the ball, there was going to be just one outcome, even from 80 metres out.

July 15, 2007

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Warriors 44 (Simon Mannering 2, Wade McKinnon, Michael Crockett, Jerome Ropati, George Gatis, Evarn Tuimavave tries; Michael Witt 7 conversions, penalty).

St George Illawarra Dragons 16 (Matt Cooper, Josh Morris, Jamie Soward tries; Jamie Soward 2 conversions).


Vodafone Warriors | Wade McKinnon; Michael Crockett, Simon Mannering, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei; Michael Witt, Grant Rovelli; Steve Price, George Gatis, Sam Rapira; Ruben Wiki, Logan Swann; Micheal Luck. Interchange: Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Wairangi Koopu, Nathan Fien.

St George Illawarra Dragons | Ben Hornby; Jason Nightingale, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Josh Morris; Rangi Chase, Jamie Soward; Justin Poore, Simon Woolford, Jason Ryles; Beau Scott, Chris Houston; Ben Creagh. Interchange: Adam Peek, Ben Ellis, Lagi Setu, Corey Payne.

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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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