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A club history: Warriors teams in grand finals

For the first time in 10 years, the One New Zealand Warriors have a team in a grand final with their first-ever Harold Matthews Cup side facing the Western Suburbs Magpies in the under-17 competition’s decider at CommBank Stadium in Sydney on Saturday (12.00pm kick-off local time; 2.00pm NZT).

The last club team to feature in a competition decider was in 2014 when the Warriors, coached by new Kiwi coach and Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones, held on to beat the Brisbane Broncos 34-32 in the NYC under-20 grand final at ANZ Stadium (now Accor Stadium).

That side provided positive proof of the benefits of a development system. Among the players in the winning squad, starting loose forward Jazz Tevaga and interchange prop Bunty Afoa have gone on to fashion long NRL careers with the One New Zealand Warriors, Tevaga boasting 123 appearances and Bunty Afoa 134.

Others from the lineup who later played for the club at NRL level were centres Nathaniel Roache and Solomone Kata, halves Tuimoala Lolohea and Mason Lino, prop Sam Lisone and interchange players James Bell, Toafofoa Sipley and Ken Maumalo (Maumalo another member of the club’s 100-game players).

Fullback Brady Abbey also played at NRL level as did other 2014 squad members who didn't play in the NYC grand final: David Fusitu’a – also a 100-game Warrior – half Ata Hingano and forwards Marata Niukore and Ofahiki Ogden.

The 2014 side was one of three One New Zealand Warriors teams to win the NYC premiership, the most of any club in the competition’s history. The others were in 2010 and 2011.

The first time the Warriors featured in a grand final was the 1996 reserve grade showdown when they lost to Cronulla Sutherland 12-14. The starting side that day was: Doc Murray; Paul Staladi, Nigel Vagana, Tony Tatupu, Iva Ropati; Shane Endacott, Aaron Whittaker; Brady Malam, Aaron Lester, Dallas Mead; Tony Tuimavave, Bryan Henare; Logan Swann.

The 2024 Harold Matthews team is the 11th Warriors side to reach a grand final.


New South Wales reserve grade: Cronulla Sutherland 14, Warriors 12 at SFS
Super League under-19: Penrith 27, Warriors 12
Super League reserve grade: Canterbury Bankstown 40, Warriors 12
NRL grand final: Sydney Roosters 30, Warriors 8
NYC grand final: Warriors 42, South Sydney 28
New South Wales Cup grand final: Canterbury Bankstown 30, Vulcans 28
NYC grand final: Warriors 31, North Queensland 30
NRL grand final: Manly Warringah 24, Warriors 10
NYC grand final: Penrith 42, Warriors 30
NYC grand final: Warriors 34, Brisbane 32
Harold Matthews Cup grand final: Warriors 34, Western Suburbs 16
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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