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New Zealand Warriors

New Zealand Warriors
Club information
Full name New Zealand Warriors Limited
Short name Warriors
Colours      Black
Founded 1995 as Auckland Warriors
Current details
CEO(s) Jim Doyle
Coach(s) Andrew McFadden
Captain(s) Simon Mannering
Competition National Rugby League
2015 season 13th
Home jersey
Home colours
Away jersey
Away colours
Current season
Premierships none
Runners-up 2 (2002, 2011)
Minor premiership 1 (2002)
Club Championship 1 (2010)
Holden Cup 3 (2010, 2011, 2014)
Most capped Stacey Jones - 261
Most points Stacey Jones - 674

The New Zealand Warriors (formerly known as the Auckland Warriors) are a professional rugby league football club based in Auckland, New Zealand. They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are the League's only team from outside Australia. Currently coached by Andrew McFadden and captained by Simon Mannering, the Warriors are based at Mt Smart Stadium in the southern Auckland suburb of Penrose.

For the 1995 season the newly formed Auckland Warriors became the first off-shore club to be admitted to the Australian Rugby League's premiership when it expanded from 16 to 20 teams. As a result of the mid-1990s' Super League war, Auckland left the ARL to compete in the Super League competition of 1997, before joining the re-unified NRL the following year. They re-branded themselves the New Zealand Warriors in 2001. Over seventeen seasons the Warriors have claimed one minor premiership (in 2002), reached two grand finals (2002 and 2011), reached the play-offs 7 times, and provided the majority of the New Zealand national team's players.


  • History 1
    • The History of the Bid 1.1
    • 1995 – The First Season 1.2
    • 1996 1.3
    • Super League – 1997 1.4
    • 1998 1.5
    • The Tainui Era – 1999 1.6
    • Financial Collapse and Reinvention – 2000 1.7
    • First Finals Series – 2001 1.8
    • Minor Premiership and Grand Final – 2002 1.9
    • Top Eight Again – 2003 1.10
    • The Worst Year Ever – 2004 1.11
    • The Rebuilding Begins – 2005 1.12
    • The Salary Cap Drama – 2006 1.13
    • Return to the Finals – 2007 1.14
    • Second-Half Revival – 2008 1.15
    • A Season of Disappointment – 2009 1.16
    • Return to finals football – 2010 1.17
    • Another Grand Final but the title eludes them – 2011 1.18
    • Woeful Warriors wilt under Bluey – 2012 1.19
    • Elliot leaves and McFadden leads a new charge-2014 1.20
    • Season summaries 1.21
  • 2016 squad 2
  • Captains 3
  • Coaches 4
  • Jerseys 5
  • Individual records 6
    • Player of the year 6.1
    • Most games 6.2
    • Most tries 6.3
    • Most tries in a season 6.4
    • Most points 6.5
    • Most points in a season 6.6
    • Most points in a match 6.7
  • Club records 7
    • Biggest wins 7.1
    • Biggest losses 7.2
    • Kept opposition to nil 7.3
    • Kept to nil 7.4
    • Most consecutive wins 7.5
    • Most consecutive losses 7.6
    • Most consecutive home wins 7.7
    • Most consecutive away wins 7.8
    • Most consecutive home losses 7.9
    • Most consecutive away losses 7.10
    • Biggest comeback 7.11
    • Worst collapse 7.12
    • Golden point record 7.13
    • Largest home attendances 7.14
    • All-time premiership record 1995–2014 (including finals series) 7.15
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The History of the Bid

Original logo for the Auckland Warriors

Rugby league was largely centred around Auckland ever since the New Zealand Rugby League was founded in 1909. Auckland produced the bulk of the international squad for many years, and most of these players headed to either Australia or Great Britain to play.

The Auckland representative side was consistently providing top opposition to touring teams. An Auckland team was admitted into the mid-week ARL Amco Cup competition in 1978. In their first year they made the semi-finals, and were defeated by the overall competition winners, Eastern Suburbs. They remained into the competition until the early 1980s. In 1987, an Auckland side toured Great Britain and claimed wins over powerhouse clubs Leeds and Wigan.

In 1988, serious investigation into an Auckland team entering the DB Bitter. The original logo was designed by Francis Allan, of Colenso.

Although three NSWRL premiership games were played at the historic Carlaw Park ground in Auckland in 1992 and 1993, the old ground only had a spectator capacity of 17,000 and was starting to fall into disrepair. Ultimately the new club chose to play their home games at the Mount Smart Stadium, which had been the preferred Auckland venue for the New Zealand national team since 1989 as well as the host venue of the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Mt Smart also had a spectator capacity of 30,000 - almost double that of Carlaw Park.

1995 – The First Season

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
10th (of 20) 22 13 0 9 544 493 +51

The coach of the new team would be former Parramatta and Wigan coach John Monie. A number of fading stars were signed, such as Greg Alexander and Andy Platt. Captain Dean Bell was one of the few signings who performed regularly. Former Rugby union players such as John Kirwan and Marc Ellis were brought in later years.

The Warriors' first year in the Australian Rugby League was 1995. Their debut match was against the Brisbane Broncos on 10 March 1995 in front of 30,000 people at a newly refurbished Mt Smart Stadium. The Warriors led 22–10 at one point in the second half of the match, however the Broncos finished far stronger and defeated the new club 25–22.

A home crowd attendance record of 32,174 was set at Ericsson Stadium in Round 6 of the 1995 ARL season, a record that was not topped until Round 1 of the 2011 NRL season.[1]

The Warriors were deducted two competition points for an interchange error. In a match against Western Suburbs, the Warriors used five interchange players instead of the allowed four. The Warriors won the match comfortably, 46–12. This error had disastrous consequences for the club, as they ultimately missed the finals by two competition points. The season saw the debut of future star, Stacey Jones, who scored a try on debut in a 40–4 rout of Parramatta in Sydney. The biggest issue with the season was the lack of consistency that plagues the Warriors even today, despite a six match winning streak late in the season. It was observed that when the Warriors weren't winning by 20 points they were losing by 20 points.


Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
11th (of 20) 21 10 0 11 412 427 −15

The Australian Rugby League season 1996 could have been regarded as a better one for the Warriors. The Warriors found themselves siding with the Super League during the Super League War when the New Zealand Rugby League signed up to the rebel competition. They claimed their first 'victory' over the Broncos in round one of the competition that year, after all Super League clubs agreed to boycott the first round of the competition in protest. The Warriors won the two points when they travelled to Brisbane with a squad of players that were unsigned to Super League, forcing the Broncos to forfeit the match.

With four rounds remaining the Warriors were in sixth place in the competition, seemingly headed for a finals berth. They proceeded to lose all four matches to tumble out of the finals. The only positives were that young New Zealand talents Stacey Jones and Joe Vagana had superb seasons.

Super League – 1997

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
7th (of 10) 18 7 0 11 332 406 −74

The Warriors spent 1997 in the breakaway Super League Telstra Cup competition. Despite the reduced number of teams, they failed to make an impression on the competition. Monie was replaced by Frank Endacott as coach midway through the 1997 season. The only positive was the team's performance in the World Club Challenge. The Warriors hammered United Kingdom powerhouses Wigan and St Helens, and comfortably handled Warrington. The Warriors were knocked out in the Semi Finals by eventual winners Brisbane, going down 16–22.


Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
15th (of 20) 24 9 0 15 417 518 −101

The first season of the reformed competition was a year that saw few highlights for the club. It was readily apparent that the club needed a new approach and attitude. Fortunately for them, they were in a better position than the other two clubs that joined the competition in 1995.

The Tainui Era – 1999

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
11th (of 17) 24 10 0 14 538 498 +40

Former Kiwi Mark Graham took over as coach in 1999. The club was sold off to a consortuim that included ex-Kiwi coach Graham Lowe and the Tainui tribe. The club again disappointed on field, but a mid season ultimatum saw a strong finish to the season, with the side winning five of their last six games. The signs appeared promising for the new millennium.

Financial Collapse and Reinvention – 2000

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
13th (of 14) 24 8 2 16 426 662 −236

In National Rugby League season 2000 the Warriors could only finish second last. This season included the Warriors' largest ever loss, 54–0 to the Dragons in Wollongong. Alarmingly, the problems off-field overshadowed the on-field problems. The majority shareholders were under intense financial pressure, and the club's future was looking bleak at best. The key assets of the club were purchased by business tycoon Eric Watson. This did not include player contracts, and many players were released and had to fight to get the money they had been promised. Ultimately only 10 players from the 2000 season were retained.

The club was re-branded as the New Zealand Warriors, with new colours of black and grey – resembling the national sporting colours. New coach Daniel Anderson and CEO Mick Watson focused on signing unknown New Zealand talent. There were only six Australians in the 2001 squad, and only three foundation players – Monty Betham, Stacey Jones and Logan Swann.

First Finals Series – 2001

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
8th (of 14) 26 12 2 12 638 629 +9

In a season where the rebranded New Zealand Warriors were tipped to finish in second-last place behind the North Queensland Cowboys, the team surprised all, qualifying for their first ever finals appearance in the National Rugby League season 2001.

The Warriors were involved in Round 8 in one of the biggest near-comebacks in the history of the NRL. Down 24–8 to the Bulldogs with under six minutes remaining, the Warriors rattled off three tries in as many sets, only failing to win the match as ironically Stacey Jones missed his easiest kick of the night in the final minute.

After a mid season struggle, the Warriors upset the runaway minor premiers Parramatta 29–18 at home, in what was a highlight match.

Then, with their season on the line, the team won four matches in a row, starting with impressive 34–8, 30–0, and 14–8 home victories over fellow finals-bound teams the Bulldogs, Sharks and Roosters. The Warriors also scored 24 unanswered points in the final quarter to beat the Panthers 48–32. Their first finals appearance was sealed with a bruising 24–24 draw with the Storm at Colonial Stadium (now Etihad Stadium), but the effects of this bruising match was seen a week later, as the Warriors were beaten by 30–18 at home by the Cowboys, a win that saw the North Queenslanders avoiding the wooden spoon.

On a hiding to nothing heading into their first ever finals appearance, they were hammered by the Minor Premiers, the Parramatta Eels 56–12. The loss was at the time the largest in finals series history, but at last things seemed to be going in the right direction at the Warriors.

Minor Premiership and Grand Final – 2002

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
1st (of 15) 24 17 0 7 2 688 454 +234

The Warriors reached their zenith to date in the National Rugby League season 2002. They won the Minor Premiership, finishing in first place at the conclusion of the regular season after the Bulldogs lost 37 competition points late in the season due to severe salary cap breaches. The club played what stands as the first finals match to have been held outside Australia at Mt Smart Stadium in the first week of the Finals Series. The Warriors would defeat their bogey side Canberra 36–20 after surviving an early scare.

For the Preliminary Final against the Sharks at Telstra Stadium the Warriors' sponsors, such as Vodafone New Zealand and Eric Watson, purchased 15,000 tickets and gave them away for free to anyone with a New Zealand passport. Reportedly, in the 45,000 crowd there were more Warriors supporters than Sharks supporters – astonishing considering the Sharks are a Sydney-based club. The Warriors went on to win 16–10 with John Carlaw scoring a famous try after latching onto a pinpoint Stacey Jones grubber-kick.[2]

The Grand Final against the Sydney Roosters was a tight match for the first hour. The Warriors trailed 2–6 at half time, but took a lead just after halftime when Jones scored a great grand final try – as he left defenders sprawling in his wake on a 40-metre run to the try line. The Roosters ran away with the match in the final 20 minutes after captain Brad Fittler was involved in a head clash with Warriors prop Richard Villasanti. The final score was an unflattering 8–30.

Top Eight Again – 2003

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
6th (of 15) 24 15 0 9 2 545 510 +35

2003 was another quite successful year for the Warriors.

After blowing an early 16–0 lead to lose 26–36 to the Newcastle Knights in Round 1, the Warriors embarked on a five-match winning streak to announce themselves as contenders for the season. However, the Warriors then struggled through the middle-stages of the season, squandering a 26–12 lead with eight minutes remaining to lose to the Parramatta Eels dramatically 28–26 at Parramatta Stadium. There was also an insipid 10–30 loss in Townsville to the North Queensland. They played their first ever extra time match, defeating South Sydney 31–30, recovering from a 6–24 deficit.

On the back of inspired play by prop Richard Villasanti, the Warriors secured their playoff spot, ultimately finishing sixth on points differential, a dangerous position to finish, as the 6th-placed finishers had been eliminated after the first week of the playoffs in the past three seasons.

Their first finals match was against the Bulldogs at the Sydney Showground. The Warriors turned on one of their finest performances ever, stunning the Bulldogs early to lead 16–4 at halftime, and after a Bulldogs comeback tied the scores at 16-all, scoring five tries in 16 minutes to blow the Bulldogs away, eventually winning 48–22. Winger Francis Meli scored five tries, a finals record. This prompted Graham Lowe, a known critic of the Warriors to say that the Warriors would win the premiership. The next week a Stacey Jones field-goal in the dying minutes got the Warriors past a gallant Canberra Raiders 17–16. They however lost in the Preliminary Final to the Minor Premiers and eventual Premiers Penrith Panthers, 20–28. It was a disappointing loss for the Warriors, who did not lead at any point of the match, and blew their chance early in the second-half to take their first lead, when Henry Fa'afili lost the ball with the line wide open.

The Worst Year Ever – 2004

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
14th (of 15) 24 6 0 18 2 427 693 −266

Before the National Rugby League season 2004 started, there were predictions of the Warriors having a highly successful season. These were proved wrong, as the Warriors managed to only win six games to finish equal last, only escaping the wooden spoon by having a superior points differential to South Sydney. Coach Daniel Anderson resigned mid-season after an embarrassing 52-point loss to the Sydney Roosters. His assistant Tony Kemp was given the head coach position, and in his first game in charge the Warriors recorded an emotional 20–14 win over Canberra. A week later, the Warriors' first match in Christchurch since 1996 was a flop, as the Warriors were destroyed by the Wests Tigers 4–50. The season finished with an embarrassing six-game losing streak.

The management looked to rescue a poor year with some high profile signings. Bulldogs captain Steve Price was signed, as was Kiwis captain Ruben Wiki, Cowboys half Nathan Fien and Roosters winger Todd Byrne.

The Rebuilding Begins – 2005

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
11th (of 15) 24 10 0 14 2 515 528 −13

2005 was an improvement over the horror scenes of 2004. The team remained competitive for all of their matches, and their largest loss was only 18 points. The team had a good chance to make the finals, however a four match losing streak late in the season removed those chances. The season was tinged with sadness, as it was announced it would be star halfback Stacey Jones last season with the club before he would join French Super League club, Catalans Dragons. His last match for the team against Manly at Brookvale Oval was a fine way for him to sign off with the club as he scored the match-winning try with three minutes to go in a 22–20 victory.

At the end of the season the structure of the team was reviewed. CEO Mick Watson resigned and was replaced by Wayne Scurrah. Tony Kemp was sacked as coach and his assistant Ivan Cleary replaced him as head coach.

The Salary Cap Drama – 2006

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
10th (of 15) 24 12 0 12 2 552 463 +89

National Rugby League season 2006 got off to a bad start for the club. In February, the Warriors were found to have committed major breaches of the salary cap in 2005. This followed the high profile signings of Steve Price and Ruben Wiki. On 27 February the NRL announced the club would be deducted four competition points and the club would also be fined A$430,000.

Even before the penalty the Warriors were expected to struggle and were being picked as wooden spooners in some quarters. With the four point deduction, the Warriors won their first NRL game away from Auckland, with a 26–10 victory over the reigning premiers, the Wests Tigers, at Jade Stadium in Christchurch.

On 25 June the Warriors recorded their largest ever win, defeating South Sydney 66–0 at Telstra Stadium, as part of a four-match winning streak that claimed the scalps of the Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights, and also the Penrith Panthers. This streak was ended in an 18–22 golden-point loss to the Bulldogs, in a game where the Warriors surrendered an early 16–0 lead.

The Warriors finished the season on a positive note leaving room for optimism for 2007 and beyond. They caused arguably the upset of the season, defeating the Minor Premiers Melbourne 24–20 at Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne, preventing the Storm from going the full regular season unbeaten at home.

Impressively, it took the Warriors 24 weeks to be completely out of finals contention. The Warriors finished winning eight of their final twelve games, including a 42–16 thrashing of the Roosters in Round 25, which included four tries by Jerome Ropati. Had the Warriors not suffered the four-point deduction, they would have finished in eighth place on the ladder, and hence would have taken part in the finals series. As it was, they finished tenth on the ladder.

There were a number of revelations in the squad. Unheralded halfback Nathan Fien were fine performers at hooker, and centre Simon Mannering has been one of the Warriors most impressive backs.

Return to the Finals – 2007

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
4th (of 16) 24 13 1 10 1 593 434 +159

The Warriors completed their pre-season with two wins from three games, defeating the Auckland Lions 64–4, losing to the North Queensland Cowboys 32–14 and defeating the Canterbury Bulldogs 36–6.

The Warriors finished the 2007 season in fourth place. The season began with a 34–18 victory over Parramatta at Mt Smart Stadium. The following week the side created history by winning their first two games of the season with a 24–14 victory over premiers, the Brisbane Broncos – the first time they have ever won their opening two games of the season.

After a good start which saw the team sitting in fourth place with a 4–2 win-loss record, the team hit a period of indifferent form, falling into a six match losing streak following a last minute win over South Sydney. The team returned to form, defeating Cronulla 12–2 in wild weather at Toyota Park. Following that victory the side won 9 out of 12 games, with one draw. The Warriors clinched a playoff spot with a 36–14 win over an understrength Manly side, and claimed a home final the following week, defeating the Penrith Panthers 24–20 at CUA Stadium in Round 25.

The Warriors, by virtue of finishing the regular season in fourth place, won the right to host one of the finals matches in the first week of the playoffs. However, the Warriors narrowly went down to the Parramatta Eels 12–10 at Mount Smart Stadium, and their season ended with an awful 12–49 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville.

On 30 May the Warriors signed Australian Kangaroos' centre, Brent Tate from 2008 to 2010 in what was described as a "major coup" for the New Zealand club.

Second-Half Revival – 2008

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
8th (of 16) 24 13 0 11 2 502 567 −65

The 2008 season did not start as brightly for the club, losing Wade McKinnon for much of the year during a pre-season loss to Newcastle, and losing captain Steve Price (rugby league) for ten weeks, as well as injuries to other key players Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati and Michael Witt. The team remained in contention for much of the season, however often performed very poorly away from Mt Smart Stadium, and suffered their first loss to South Sydney (28–35) since 1999, and went on to lose to the Rabbitohs again later in the season (16–18). Despite poor results away, strong home form and a now common revival in the second half of the season saw the Warriors make the top eight for the second season running, incredibly despite spending only three weeks in the top eight all season. A top-eight berth was secured in the last game of the season, when the Warriors defeated the Parramatta Eels 28–6 at Parramatta Stadium, marking the first time since 1995 that the Warriors had won away to Parramatta.

With nothing to lose in the first week of the finals, the Warriors caused arguably the greatest finals upset ever, and arguably greatest victory in the history of the club, defeating Melbourne 18–15 at Olympic Park; in doing so, they became the first 8th placed team to beat the minor premiers, with Michael Witt scoring two minutes from full-time to clinch the win. Witt taunted Melbourne captain, Cameron Smith, before placing the ball for the historic victory.[3]

In week two of the playoffs, the Warriors came from behind to defeat the Sydney Roosters 30–13 at Mt. Smart Stadium. The Roosters led 13–6 at halftime before a second-half comeback saw the Warriors pile on twenty-four unanswered points to earn the Warriors a place in the preliminary finals. This was the first time since 2003 that the Warriors have reached the grand final qualifier, and third overall in 14 seasons. They however went down heavily to an inspired Manly Sea Eagles 32–6.

A Season of Disappointment – 2009

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
14th (of 16) 24 7 2 14 2 377 545 −188

2009 started with the loss of young up-and-comer Sonny Fai, who tragically drowned at Bethels Beach, near Auckland. He had gone into dangerous surf to rescue some relatives but was probably sucked under by a rip. Almost as if using the occurrence as an inhibitor, the Warriors had a very disappointing year, despite winning the opening two rounds against eventual grand finalists Parramatta Eels 26–18 and reigning premiers Manly Sea Eagles. After those great wins they proceeded to win a poor 1 of 8 games including a draw. They did however manage to beat West Tigers 14–0 and the Knights 13–0 keeping both opponents scoreless, but it was the poor attacking that had every league fan questioning. and ultimately saw them lose their next 3 matches by heavy scores. They did beat the Roosters 30–24 at SFS and Raiders 34–20 at Mt Smart Stadium. But in the end the Warriors lost their final two games against the Bulldogs in Hazem El Masri's last home game [before finals] and ultimately ended their poor season in a bad way losing 0–30 to the eventual premiers Melbourne Storm.

Return to finals football – 2010

The Club Championship (left) and the Toyota Cup (right), both won in 2010
Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
5th (of 16) 23 13 0 10 2 539 486 +53

Expectations were not high for the Warriors in 2010 after a disappointing 2009 season. The Warriors bolstered their playing stocks in the pivotal play-making positions by signing badboy Brett Seymour after he was cut by Cronulla and James Maloney from Melbourne. In arguably one of their best ever performances they humbled the Brisbane Broncos 48–16 at Suncorp Stadium in Round 3, with Maloney tying a club-record with 28 points (3 tries and 8 goals). Kevin Locke scored a hat-trick in the Warriors miraculous 20–18 win over the Sydney Roosters at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, narrowly escaping a serious hip injury after a high-speed collision with the goal-post (in the process of scoring the game-winning try). The Warriors won five matches in a row for the first time since late in the 2003 season and finished in 5th position in the regular season. They were knocked out of the finals series in the first week, losing to Gold Coast Titans.

Another Grand Final but the title eludes them – 2011

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
6th (of 16) 24 14 0 10 2 504 393 +111

The Warriors began the 2011 season with an historic match Auckland's Eden Park, the first regular season home game the club had played away from Mt Smart Stadium. The match drew a record home game crowd for the Warriors of 38,405 however unfortunately the Warriors could not repay the large crowd with a victory as they were beaten 24–18 by the Parramatta Eels. The Warriors went on to lose their following two matches and it appeared that Warriors fans were in for another season of disappointment. To their credit the Warriors bounced back and were in the running for a top four position late in the season but finished in 6th spot. Midway through the season coach Ivan Cleary was approached by the Penrith Panthers and was appointed as their coach for the 2012 season. Cleary remained coach for the remainder of the 2011 season with Brian McClennan appointed his successor for 2012. One of the highlights of the season was the unearthing of young halfback Shaun Johnson who played a key role as the Warriors approached the 2011 finals series.

In week one of the finals series the Warriors were thrashed 40–10 by the Brisbane Broncos. Other results went the Warriors way and they were fortunate to progress to week two of the finals where they would meet a highflying Wests Tigers who had completed their 9th straight victory. The match was expected to go the Tigers way however a brilliant second half comeback by the Warriors culminated in a late and controversial try to Krisnan Inu which saw the Warriors win 22–20 and earn the right to play the Melbourne Storm for a place in the Grand Final.

The Warriors travelled to Melbourne as heavy underdogs but turned in what is considered one of the most complete performances in the club's history. The Warriors controlled the match and sealed the Melbourne Storm's fate with Shaun Johnson mesmerising the Storm defence to send Lewis Brown in for the try that would send the Warriors to their second ever Grand Final, where they would meet the Manly Sea Eagles.

The Warriors would again start the match as heavy underdogs and with a side boasting only three players who had previously played in a Grand Final (Manly on the other hand could boast their coach and eight players who had won the 2008 NRL premiership with the club, plus another who had won a premiership in 2003 with Penrith). Heavy defense from both sides was the feature until the Warriors opened the scoring with a penalty goal to James Maloney in the 28th minute, but a little more than a minute after the restart, a bad read in defense saw prolific try scorer Brett Stewart in for the 1st try. Just before the break, the Warriors were then unlucky not to receive a penalty for obstruction in the lead up to Manly's second try which saw them go into the sheds down 12-2. A further try to Clive Churchill Medal winner Glenn Stewart in the 57th minute saw Manly's lead out to 18-2. The Warriors refused to die however, and clawed their way back with tries to Manu Vatuvei and Elijah Taylor in the 63rd and 68th minutes. Unfortunately Maloney missed both conversions which could have taken the score to 18-14 and a grandstand finish, but a try to Manly captain Jamie Lyon with only a minute remaining put the result beyond doubt as the Warriors were beaten by a clinical Manly outfit 24–10 – yet their effort in reaching just their second ever Grand Final (and their first in nine years) was a triumph for the club and departing coach Ivan Cleary and won praise from those in the NRL.

2011 was a successful season all-round for the New Zealand Warriors, with all three grades reaching the Grand Final. The clubs NYC team defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 31-30 in golden point extra time in the NYC Grand Final to win their second premiership, while NSW Cup affiliate the Auckland Vulcans went down 30-28 after conceding a last minute try to Canterbury-Bankstown in the NSW Cup Grand Final.

Woeful Warriors wilt under Bluey – 2012

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
14th (of 16) 24 8 0 16 2 497 609 -112

2012 was meant to promise so much for the Warriors following their grand final appearance of 2011. A new coach with a successful track record in Brian 'Bluey' McClennan, a stable squad and strong public support indicated that 2012 could have been the year they finally broke their premiership duck. The season again kicked off with a home game at Eden Park, with a strong crowd of 37,502 witnessing the Warriors go down 20-26 to Manly in a grand final rematch. The match was perhaps an indication of things to come, with the Warriors performing strongly on attack but being let down by weak defence at crucial stages which ultimately cost them the match.

The season did not improve much from that point, with the Warriors failing to find any semblance of consistency throughout the season. There were some highs, such as their 44-22 drubbing of the Rabbitohs, but these were far outweighed by the deep lows. Their season is best summed up by a dismal month of football between Rounds 20 and 23. The Warriors surrendered 19- and 18-nil leads in succession and lost (a first in the history of the game), before leaking 97 points in their next two defeats. In the process they lost all semblance of a quality rugby league team.[4]

Injuries were not kind to the Warriors, with the side using 29 players over the course of the season - the second highest of any team in the NRL. The Warriors season unravelled over the latter rounds. Ultimately Brian McClennan was sacked with three rounds remaining, with assistant coach Tony Iro taking over the reins for the final two rounds. The change of coach did not result in a change of fortunes however, as the Warriors limped out of the season with an eight match long losing streak - a club record.

Following a lengthy search for a new coach former Penrith and Canberra boss Matthew Elliot was appointed as head coach in October 2012.

Elliot leaves and McFadden leads a new charge-2014

Position Pld Won Drew Lost Bye Points For Points Against Points Differential
9th (of 16) 24 12 0 12 2 571 491 +80

Season summaries

P=Premiers, R=Runner-Ups, M=Minor Premierships, F=Finals Appearance, W=Wooden Spoons
(Brackets Represent Finals Games)
Competition Games
P R M F W Coach Captain Details
1995 ARL season
22 13 0 9 10 / 20
John Monie
Dean Bell
Auckland Warriors 1995
1996 ARL season
21 10 0 11 11 / 20
Greg Alexander
Auckland Warriors 1996
1997 SL season
18 7 0 11 7 / 10
John Monie→Frank Endacott
Matthew Ridge
Auckland Warriors 1997
1998 NRL season
24 9 0 15 15 / 20
Frank Endacott
Auckland Warriors 1998
1999 NRL season
24 10 0 14 11 / 17
rowspan="2" |
Mark Graham
Auckland Warriors 1999
2000 NRL season
26 8 2 16 13 / 14
John Simon
Auckland Warriors 2000
2001 NRL season
26 (1) 12 (0) 2 (0) 12 (1) 8 / 14
Daniel Anderson
rowspan="2" |
Kevin Campion/Stacey Jones
New Zealand Warriors 2001
2002 NRL season
24 (3) 17 (2) 0 (0) 7 (1) 1 / 15
New Zealand Warriors 2002
2003 NRL season
24 (3) 15 (2) 0 (0) 9 (1) 6 / 15
Monty Betham
New Zealand Warriors 2003
2004 NRL season
24 6 0 18 14 / 15
Daniel Anderson→Tony Kemp
New Zealand Warriors 2004
2005 NRL season
24 10 0 14 11 / 15
Tony Kemp
Steve Price
New Zealand Warriors 2005
2006 NRL season
24 12 0 12 10 / 15
Ivan Cleary
New Zealand Warriors 2006
2007 NRL season
24 (2) 13 (0) 1 (0) 10 (2) 4 / 16
New Zealand Warriors 2007
2008 NRL season
24 (3) 13 (2) 0 (0) 11 (1) 8 / 16
New Zealand Warriors 2008
2009 NRL season
24 7 2 14 14 / 16
New Zealand Warriors 2009
2010 NRL season
24 (1) 14 (0) 0 (0) 10 (1) 5 / 16
Simon Mannering
New Zealand Warriors 2010
2011 NRL season
24 (4) 14(2) 0 10 (2) 6 / 16
New Zealand Warriors 2011
2012 NRL season
24 8 0 16 14 / 16
Brian McClennanTony Iro
New Zealand Warriors 2012
2013 NRL season
24 11 0 13 11 / 16
Matthew Elliot
New Zealand Warriors 2013
2014 NRL season
24 12 0 12 9 / 16
Matthew Elliot→Andrew McFadden
New Zealand Warriors 2014
2015 NRL season
/ 16
Andrew McFadden
New Zealand Warriors 2015

2016 squad


Years Captain And Vice Captain
1995 Dean Bell
1996 Greg Alexander
1997–1999 Matthew Ridge
2000 John Simon
2001–2002 Kevin Campion/Stacey Jones
2002–2004 Monty Betham
2005–2009 Steve Price
2010–present Simon Mannering


Coach Tenure Matches Won Drawn Lost Winning Percentage
John Monie 1995–1997 (sacked mid-season) 52 26 0 26 50.00%
Frank Endacott 1997–1998 33 13 0 20 39.39%
Mark Graham 1999–2000 50 18 2 30 36.00%
Daniel Anderson 2001–2004 (resigned mid-season) 92 51 2 39 55.43%
Tony Kemp 2004–2005 37 13 0 24 35.14%
Ivan Cleary 2006–2011 137 68 3 66 49.63%
Brian McClennan 2012–Round 24 2012 (Sacked 21 August) 22 8 0 14 36.36%
Tony Iro Round 25 2012-Round 26 2012 (Caretaker Coach) 2 0 0 2 0%
Matthew Elliott 2013-Round 5 2014 (Sacked 7 April) 29 13 0 16 44.8%
Andrew McFadden Round 6 2014 – Present 40 19 0 21 47.50%


Individual records

* indicates player still active.

Player of the year

Year Player
2013 *Simon Mannering
2012 *Ben Matulino
2011 *Simon Mannering
2010 *Manu Vatuvei
2009 Micheal Luck
2008 *Simon Mannering
2007 Steve Price
2005 Ruben Wiki
2004 Wairangi Koopu
2003 Francis Meli
2002 Ali Lauitiiti
2001 Jerry SeuSeu
2000 Robert Mears
1999 Jason Death
1998 Joe Vagana
1997 Stacey Jones
1996 Stephen Kearney
1995 Tea Ropati

Most games

Games Player Career
261 Stacey Jones 1995–2005, 2009
232* Simon Mannering 2005–Present
210* Manu Vatuvei 2004–Present
195 Logan Swann 1997–2008
185 Lance Hohaia 2002–2011

Most tries

Tries Player Career
146* Manu Vatuvei 2004–
77 Stacey Jones 1995–2005, 2009
60 Francis Meli 1998-2005
57 Clinton Toopi 1999–2006
57 Lance Hohaia 2002–2011

Most tries in a season

Tries Player Season
23 Francis Meli 2003 (Including Finals)
20 Manu Vatuvei 2010 (Regular Season Record + 1 Final)
19 Sean Hoppe 1995 (Regular Season Record)[5]
18 Clinton Toopi 2002
17 Manu Vatuvei 2014
17 Clinton Toopi 2003

Most points

Points Player Career
674 Stacey Jones 1995–2005, 2009
584* Manu Vatuvei 2004–Present
547 James Maloney 2010-2012
542* Shaun Johnson 2011–Present
439 Ivan Cleary 2000–2002

Most points in a season

Points Player Season
242 Ivan Cleary 2002
188 James Maloney 2010
180 James Maloney 2011
177 Shaun Johnson 2013
173 Ivan Cleary 2001

Most points in a match

Points Player Details
28 Gene Ngamu 3 tries, 8 goals vs North Queensland, 1996 (Won 52–6)
28 Ivan Cleary 1 try, 12 goals vs Northern Eagles, 2002 (Won 68–10)
28 James Maloney 3 tries, 8 goals vs Brisbane Broncos, 2010 (Won 48–16)
26 Shaun Johnson 3 tries, 7 goals vs Canberra Raiders, 2013 (Won 50–16)
26 Shaun Johnson 2 tries, 9 goals vs Canberra Raiders, 2014 (Won 54–12)

Club records


Biggest wins

Margin Score Opponent Venue Year
66 66–0 South Sydney Rabbitohs Telstra Stadium 2006
58 68–10 Northern Eagles Mt Smart Stadium 2002
48 48–0 Parramatta Eels Mt Smart Stadium 2014
46 52–6 North Queensland Cowboys Mt Smart Stadium 1996
44 60–16 Western Suburbs Magpies Campbelltown Stadium 1999

Biggest losses

Margin Score Opponent Venue Year
56 6-62 Penrith Panthers Centrebet Stadium 2013
54 0–54 St. George Illawarra Dragons WIN Stadium 2000
52 6–58 Sydney Roosters Aussie Stadium 2004
46 10–56 Melbourne Storm Olympic Park Stadium 2000
46 6–52 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Brookvale Oval 2008
46 4–50 Wests Tigers Jade Stadium 2004

Kept opposition to nil

Score Opponent Venue Year
66–0 South Sydney Rabbitohs Telstra Stadium 2006
48–0 Parramatta Eels Mt Smart Stadium 2014
42–0 Newcastle Knights Mt Smart Stadium 1999
42-0 Gold Coast Titans Mt Smart Stadium 2014
30–0 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Mt Smart Stadium 2001
26–0 North Queensland Cowboys Mt Smart Stadium 2006
14–0 Wests Tigers Mt Smart Stadium 2009
13–0 Newcastle Knights Mt Smart Stadium 2009

Kept to nil

Score Opponent Venue Year
0–54 St. George Illawarra Dragons WIN Stadium 2000
0–44 Sydney Roosters Aussie Stadium 2002
0–36 St. George Illawarra Dragons Westpac Stadium 2015
0–24 North Queensland Cowboys Mt Smart Stadium 1999
0-24 Sydney Roosters Allianz Stadium 2015

Most consecutive wins

Wins First Round Last Round
8 Round 7, 2002 Round 14, 2002

Most consecutive losses

Losses First Round Last Round
11 Round 19, 2012 Round 3, 2013
7 Round 17, 2000 Round 23, 2000
7 Round 20, 2004 Round 1, 2005

Most consecutive home wins

Wins First Round Last Round
7 Round 18, 2008 Round 1, 2009

Most consecutive away wins

Wins First Round Last Round
5 Round 8, 2002 Round 16, 2002

Most consecutive home losses

Losses First Round Last Round
6 Round 24, 1998 Round 9, 1999

Most consecutive away losses

Losses First Round Last Round
7 Round 5, 2009 Round 17, 2009

Biggest comeback

Recovered from a 20-point deficit.

Worst collapse

Surrendered a 26-point lead.

Surrendered an 18-point lead (three-times).

Surrendered a 16-point lead (three-times).

Golden point record

Played 8: Won 2, Lost 3, Drawn 3

Largest home attendances

Largest attendances at the four venues used as home grounds.

All-time premiership record 1995–2014 (including finals series)

Games Won Lost Drawn Win Percentage Points For Points Against Points Differential
489 228 254 7 46.62% 10423 10787 −364

See also


  1. ^ News, NRL.Com (12 March 2011). "Eels beat Warriors in NZ". NRL.Com. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Warrior chief living life to the Maximus –". 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Guy Hand (14 September 2008). "Warriors play Storm at their own game". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  4. ^ Auerbach, Taylor. "Season review: Warriors". Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Vatuvei closing in on record

External links

  • New Zealand Warriors Official site
  • Official NRL site of the New Zealand Warriors
  • Unofficial Home of NZ Warrior Fans
  • Club History
  • Daily Telegraph – NZ Warriors 2007 season feature
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