Another Eden Park NRL blockbuster confirmed
Wednesday 28 November 2012 10:49 AM
The Vodafone Warriors will again start their home campaign with an Eden Park blockbuster when they face the Sonny Bill Williams-bolstered Sydney Roosters in their second-round 2013 NRL encounter on Saturday, March 16 next year (7.30pm kick-off).
The contest was confirmed today as the NRL released a breakthrough draw which, for the first time, features the kick-off times and dates for all matches in the first 20 rounds of the regular season. Specific details for the remaining six rounds will be released after round 16.
In another highly-anticipated match, the Vodafone Warriors will meet last year’s beaten grand finalist Canterbury-Bankstown in the ninth round at a yet-to-be-confirmed venue outside Auckland on Saturday, May 11.
The club’s remaining 10 home games will all be played at Mount Smart Stadium, the first an Easter Monday clash against North Queensland on April 1 kicking off at 6.00pm.
The scheduling of the match against the Des Hasler-coached Bulldogs outside Auckland has come about as the NRL seeks to have more games played away from traditional home venues. It has resulted in other matches being confirmed in centres in Australia as far flung as Darwin, Mackay and Mudgee.
Another game will be played in Perth next year and once again the Vodafone Warriors will be involved with the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking their 17th-round ‘home’ game to Western Australia. The match has been set down for Sunday, July 7 (kick-off 3.30pm). When the Vodafone Warriors met Manly at Paterson Stadium, the match attracted a crowd of more than 20,000, the vast majority supporting the New Zealand-based side.
The Vodafone Warriors start the regular season on the road against Parramatta on March 9 and also finish away from home against St George Illawarra but new head coach Matthew Elliott doesn’t have any issues.
“The key aspect is the fixed nature of the schedule for the first 20 rounds,” he said.
“It’s critical. It makes such a huge difference for us in terms of preparation and planning, especially given the travel demands we face.
“It’s also brilliant for our members. They’ll now be able to plan their lives around football with confidence next year.”
While the Vodafone Warriors will have two instances of home games on successive weekends they won’t have to contend with tight turnarounds for back-to-back away assignments. The away games against Canberra and Melbourne in April are 12 days apart while the club’s second bye in round 18 separates the July 7 battle with South Sydney in Perth and a Friday night match against Wests Tigers on July 19 (the second time in successive seasons the Vodafone Warriors have had a Friday night match against the Tigers).
The round 12 away match against Brisbane will be played on Monday, June 3 immediately before the opening State of Origin match leaving the Broncos without their Origin players.
The Vodafone Warriors will play home and away matches against the Roosters, South Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Manly, Cronulla and Penrith while they’ll have only one-off games against Parramatta (away), North Queensland (home), Canterbury-Bankstown (home), Newcastle (home), Wests Tigers (away) and St George Illawarra (away).
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VODAFONE WARRIORS - 2013 NRL AND NYC DRAW
* Kick-off times are local times
1 Sat March 9 5.30pm Eels Parramatta Stadium
2 Sat March 16 7.30pm Roosters Eden Park
3 Sun March 24 2.00pm Sharks Toyota Stadium
4 Mon April 1 6.00pm Cowboys Mount Smart Stadium
5 Sun April 7 4.00pm Rabbitohs Mount Smart Stadium
6 Sat April 13 7.30pm Raiders Canberra Stadium
7 Thu April 25 7.00pm Storm AAMI Park
8 Sun May 5 2.00pm Titans Mount Smart Stadium
9 Sat May 11 7.30pm Bulldogs TBC
10 Sat May 18 7.30pm Panthers Centrebet Stadium
11 Sun May 26 4.00pm Knights Mount Smart Stadium
12 Mon June 3 7.00pm Broncos Suncorp Stadium
13 Sun June 9 4.00pm Sea Eagles Mount Smart Stadium
14 Sun June 16 6.30pm Roosters Allianz Stadium
15 June 21-24 Bye
16 Sun June 30 4.00pm Broncos Mount Smart Stadium
17 Sun July 7 3.30pm Rabbitohs NIB Stadium
18 July 12-15 Bye
19 Fri July 19 7.45pm Wests Tigers Leichhardt Oval
20 Sun July 28 2.00pm Storm Mount Smart Stadium
21 August 2-5 Sharks Mount Smart Stadium
22 August 9-12 Sea Eagles Brookvale Oval
23 August 16-19 Panthers Mount Smart Stadium
24 August 23-26 Titans Skilled Park
25 August 30-September 2 Raiders Mount Smart Stadium
26 September 5-8 Dragons WIN Stadium
1 September 13-15 Qualifying Semi Finals
2 September 20-21 Semi Finals
3 September 27-28 Preliminary Finals
4 October 6 Grand Final