There is nothing quite like the old days, so sit back and take a look as kiwileaguecentral.com checks out this week in Warriors history. (Photo: photosport.nz).
First NZ trip out of Auckland – 1996
They were still called the Auckland Warriors at the time, but Round 11 in 1996 was the first occasion where the club went national, taking a competitive game to a New Zealand city outside of Auckland.
The match at Lancaster Park – now AMI Stadium – in Christchurch, saw the Warriors host the ‘Sydney Tigers’ who we know as the Wests Tigers these days.
In front of a crowd of 10,000 in the garden city, the Tigers got out to a 26-6 lead at the break, helped along by former Warrior Mike Dorreen, who had just transferred to the Australian club.
But the Warriors stormed home, with Richie Blackmore, Tea Ropati and rugby union converts Marc Ellis and John Kirwan all getting in on the try-scoring. In the end it wasn’t nearly enough though, as the Tigers lifted to win 34-22.
Other notable names in the Sydney side that day included prop Paul Sironen and English legend Ellery Hanley.