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Young players gain invaluable experience in homecoming clash

Gaining game day experience was the big take-out for the Sky Sport Future Warriors when they faced the Wests Tigers Cubs in Sunday's homecoming curtain raiser at Mount Smart Stadium.

On a momentous day for the club, the Sky Sport Future Warriors had the distinction of kicking off the football action in a specially-arranged fixture which pitted both clubs' players of the future against each other.

For the home players it was a rare and much-needed opportunity to play as a team after being starved of games during the Covid era.

As well as giving them a game day experience on a huge occasion it was also beneficial as the Vodafone Warriors eye plans to field a team in the 2023 S G Ball Cup under-19 competition. The players used are all eligible to play next season.

Without meaningful football, the Sky Sport Future Warriors were at a disadvantage against the visitors but centre Ali Leiataua could lay claim to the first try scored on homecoming day when he scorched more than 80 metres to touch down.

Right winger Eric Vaafusuaga also went long range with a second half try while interchange forwards Elijah Salesa-Leaumoana and Jarome Falemoe scored late in the second stanza as the Tigers prevailed 34-18.  

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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