New Zealand Warriors News
The New Zealand Warriors are a professional Rugby League club based in the New Zealand capital city of Auckland where they are the first, and to date only, New Zealand based team to play in the Australian NRL competition.
The club were founded in 1995 as the Auckland Warriors and have played out of the Mount Smart Stadium since their first season, although they have had to base themselves in Australia for periods and they often take matches to other cities in the country.
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The ground is located in the suburb of Penrose, which is around 10 km south of the centre of Auckland.
Interesting the ground is built in the quarried remnants of the Rarotonga / Mount Smart volcano cone, which gives the surrounds of the stadium and unique look and feel.
The ground is always easy to recognise when watching matches live on television and when full can host around 30,000 fans.
The ground has also become the home away from home for the Tonga national team and made headlines around the world when Tonga took on England in the RLWC 2017 semi-final that saw around 30,000 fans join together singing a hymn.
That has made it difficult for the club to be a continual contenders for titles in the NRL but when on form, they are always one of the most attractive teams to watch.
The hope was that by having a major professional club in the city, internationals could not only be developed in the city but they could stay there to play and promote the sport as up until the Warriors came into being, players had to leave for Australia and England.
In 1992, it was announced that an Auckland based team would enter the Winfield Cup, which cam eon the back of big crowds for a number of NSWRL matches played in the city.
The new club would be called the Auckland Warriors and would be run by the Auckland Rugby League organisation.
Originally the clubs colours were blue, white, red, and green with there club badge been mostly blue with touches of green and white.
The clubs first season in the ARL was in 1995, with their debut match coming at home to the Brisbane Broncos when a packed house of 30,000 fans saw them lose by 22-25 after leading 22-10 at one point.
Unfortunately, there debut season came right at the start f the Super League wars and during that dark period for the sport, the Warriors would choose to go to the new rebel league and it proved to be a period of struggle, although they did give debuts to both Stacey Jones and Joe Vagana.
The 1998 season saw the new NRL competition start up but the form of the Warriors continue to be inconsistent at best and during that period, they would be sold to a consortium made up of Graham Lowe and the Tainui Tribe.
Unfortunately, that failed to give the club stability and in 2000, the club finished second last and they would be beset with financial worries away from the field.
They would be sold to Eric Watson, released the majority of their players and rebranded as the New Zealand Warriors.
The club would also take on the black and grey of the national side and a new focus was on adding local talent to their ranks.
Whilst all of that was a major upheaval at the time, it did seem to have instant impact as the club would reach the end of season play-offs for the first time in 2001.
Things would go even better in 2002 as the club would win their first ever Minor Premiership before head to the Grand Final for the first time but they would come up short against the Roosters.
2003 couldn’t match that performance but they would at least make the play-offs once again but 2004 would be their worst year to date as they would only win 6 matches all seaosn long and pick up the wooden spoon.
2005 was all about rebuilding but that was soon hindered as the Warriors were found to have breached the salary cap and that they would be deducted points and face a huge fine.
Despite that, the club would continue to rebuild and would easily finish mid-table despite the points difference.
The next few years saw the club continue to push for play-off places and by 2011, they were back at the Grand Final.
In what was a difficult season for the club after the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, the club would set a record home crowd of over 38,000 fans for their loss to Parramatta but in the end they would end without a trophy once more as Manly beat them in the final.
Just as the club had a reputation for ups and downs in performance levels during a match, they would turn that into seaosn on seaosn performances as the club would go from the Grand Final to finishing in 14th place the next season.
They would continue to struggle for the next few years as it took until the 2018 season for them to reach the play-offs once again after finishing 8th, but they would lose their first match to Penrith.
They would soon drop back down the table and would face incredible hardship in 2020 and 2021 as they would be forced to base themselves across the Tasman in Australia, with player not allowed to go home to visit family.
On the 3rd of July 2022, the Warriors finally retuned home to face the Wests Tigers at Mont Smart after 3 years away.
New Zealand Warriors News Headlines
If you are looking for the latest New Zealand Warriors news headlines, you are in the right place.
Here at 13v13 we bring you all of the latest news headlines regarding the Auckland based club from news sources across New Zealand and around the globe.
New Zealand Warriors News Update
As soon as a story breaks we will bring it to you and we will also bring you any updates to those headlines as and when they occur.