General 2016 Auckland Nines

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Warriors Orange Peeler
NRL Auckland Nines to be held on Waitangi weekend at Eden Park

NRL Auckland Nines organisers have dropped ticket prices and moved the event to Waitangi weekend in an effort to attract fans back to the rugby league showcase.

Duco Events are expected to announce today that the 2016 edition of the Nines will run over the weekend of February 6 and 7 at Auckland's Eden Park, the weekend after the Rugby Sevens are held at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Tickets will start at $69 for a two-day pass – $30 cheaper than the lowest priced two-day ticket for this year's event, which was held on the last weekend of January.

This comes after crowd numbers dropped by more than 4000 people between the first event in 2014 and this year's event. That was put largely down to ticket prices that were viewed as prohibitively expensive by some. A family pass at this year's event cost $439, but organisers said children's tickets would be half the cost of any adult ticket for 2016.

The drop in crowd numbers also meant a drop in visitor nights and consequently a drop in the economic return to Auckland – a key factor if the tournament is to remain in Auckland for longer than the initial five years it was guaranteed.

In news sure to attract fans, Duco have said Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater will use the Nines as his return to league after being ruled out for the remainder of the 2015 NRL season with a shoulder injury.

The 25-test Australian star will be at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday for the round-18 clash between the Warriors and the Storm when the dates for the Nines will be officially announced.

Slater expects his problem shoulder, which bought an abrupt end to his season last month, will be recovered in time for him to play next year.

"I won't have had a footy game for more than seven months by the time the Nines rolls around. Playing breaks up what is otherwise going be a very long and tedious pre-season for me," he said.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said he would be guided by medical staff as to whether Slater would take the field. The team's physiotherapist, Tony Ayoub, said Slater's early recovery was encouraging.

Tickets go on sale to the public on August 20
The news of Slater being keen is good to read. He'd be great to watch in this format.

I'm still a bit sceptical with the Storm usually sending a crap team and like last year with Thurston doing a lot of promoting and then not being named in the Cowboys side. So I'll wait and see on this one before I get too excited.

Hopefully we see more stars next year especially with the Australians not playing tests at the end of the year. They will be all rested.

If we manage our Kiwis players well after their end of year tour how cool will our team be with Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke. Luke will be a good addition after playing for last years winners.


Warriors Orange Peeler
The news of Slater being keen is good to read. He'd be great to watch in this format.
Billy Slater was the special guest at the Mad Butchers lounge and it looks like he's been hired by Duco as the spokesman for the Auckland Nines. Expect to hear a lot more of him...
Diamond for $229...yes please. paid $200 for silver this year so an extra $30 for the best seat in the house is a no brainer for me.At these prices and a long weekend to boot it will sell out like 2013
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Really hoping for it to be like what it was in its inaugural year in 2014. Missed out on going this year but def will be buying up gold/diamond seats as soon as they become available.


Tix on sale as of this morning guys. Got myself some nice diamond seats close to the action. Lots of good tix still available!
2016 Auckland Nines draw just been announced to public.

Next year we play Sea Eagles, Bulldogs and Broncos ... :)

Pool Waiheke

Pool Hunua
Sea Eagles

Pool Rangitoto

Pool Piha
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Cant wait to see Henare Wells, he sort of reminds me of The Greyhound Brett Mullins from the clips I have seen.
CNK looks like an all round talent with a future ahead of him, he could be the buy of the season if he takes his opportunities.
And the new frame of Konnie has me excited for him.
Hope James Bell makes the team as well ,he is a talent.


RFM, Sao, Thompson, Hoffman, Matulino, Bell, Konnie, Lisone


Shaun Johnson, Lino, Robson, Hingano


Luke, Roache


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kata, Wells, Allwood, Fusitua, Tui
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I know it's nines... but is it wrong that I want us to display defensive starch as opposed to frenatic offloading, game breaking attacking play? I want to see what Morgan as the defensive coach brings to the table.
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Was so interested to see the 9s line ups last 2 years, the warriors named a strong team … and then played Nathan Friend and one out runners the whole time.
Not so interested this time.

Its probably most fun to get a look at the new recruits and players we didn’t see much of last year, I don’t need to see Shaun Johnson carry the team on his back again.

I’d like to see a lot of action out of:

David Fusitua – see if he has either regained some pace or bulked up into a power back, seemed neither one or the other last year.

The new random outside back recruits – Wells and Klokstad, couldn’t pick them out of a police line-up at the moment

Nate Roache – didn’t get a minute on the field last year

Konrad Hurrell – see how the lean konrad goes, injured last 9s and FAT the 9s before that.

Hoffman and Thompson should be well rested after long offseasons, they can provide the big minutes and leadership.

Vatuvei is probably the most expendable (as in its not the end of the world if he gets dinged up) of the contractually obligated big names, so chuck him in and I’m sure at least one of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Luke and Johnson will be named as a marquee draw card, probably prefer it to be Luke, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck put in a massive shift of work throughout 2015, and Johnson is not worth risking. And Luke was instrumental in the rabbitohs winning it last year.
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Warriors Orange Peeler
The fans get right behind it so if I do get the opportunity I'll be really chuffed."

NRL: Jeff Robson hoping for first taste of Nines with Warriors
1:17 PM Tuesday Dec 8, 2015

New Warriors recruit Jeff Robson hopes to make his debut appearance for the club and try his hand at nines footy for the first time when the short-form knock-out tournament comes to Eden Park next February.

The former Cronulla Sharks halfback missed the first two nines tournaments with injury, and heading into his 12th NRL campaign, knows chances are running out to enjoy the carnival atmosphere of the pre-season Auckland event.

"I was injured over the preseason the last couple of years so didn't get a chance to play," Robson explained from the official Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines jersey launch in Sydney today.

"Obviously I don't have too many seasons left in me so I've got a big opportunity to play there next year.

"Everyone that plays in the nines says it's a great experience and that there's a great buzz around Auckland over the whole weekend.

The fans get right behind it so if I do get the opportunity I'll be really chuffed."

Robson joined a host of big name NRL players, including Queensland, Kangaroos and Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater and New South Wales and Gold Coast Titans enforcer Greg Bird, and NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg, as all 16 NRL teams unveiled their new Nines jersey designs.

After some experimentation last year saw some clubs adopt sleeveless AFL-style singlets, all teams have reverted back to traditional jerseys for the third edition of the Nines, to take place on Waitangi weekend (February 6-7).

As always there is plenty of colour and variation in the shirts, with the Warriors elaborate black and white 'Spirit of the Warrior' design blending traditional Maori and Polynesian images with a collage of what appear to be rival team mascots.

Manly and Wests Tigers have both produced simple but striking designs using their traditional club colours with large Sea Eagle and Tiger logos featuring front and centre across the chest.

Numerous clubs played it safe, with Parramatta, South Sydney and Canterbury in particular, keeping their designs relatively simple, while Canberra and Cronulla broke the mould with their 'Green Machine' and protective armour designs.

While Robson has high hopes of playing at the Nines he knows he faces stiff competition to win a place in coach Andrew McFadden's 18-man squad.

With the likes of Shaun Johnson, and fellow 2016 signings Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke, tipped to join the likes of rookie Kiwis No7 Tui Lolohea, the Warriors won't lack for playmakers in and around the ruck.

"I'll have to see if I make the team because there's a lot of really exciting young players there that are really keen to play as well," he said.

"I've really been enjoying training with the young guys and also the senior players there, so hopefully I get an opportunity to play alongside them in the nines and once the season comes around. I'll just have to wait and see what happens there.

"We've got some big mobile outside backs and our forwards are pretty robust and mobile as well. With a bit more space I reckon they can do a lot of damage."
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Jordan G

10 cool points for the use of the word "chuffed". Can't imagine TL using it.

Is there anyone who doesn't want to play in the Nines from our side? Seems like they're all putting their hands up for it.

How big are the squads this season? Same as last season?
10 cool points for the use of the word "chuffed". Can't imagine TL using it.

Is there anyone who doesn't want to play in the Nines from our side? Seems like they're all putting their hands up for it.

How big are the squads this season? Same as last season?
Eighteen man squad it says in that last article.
You get the impression everyone wants to (genuinely) play nines.

I guess it encapsulates why these people started playing way back when...for fun. Then there is the prize incentives.
Eighteen man squad it says in that last article.
You get the impression everyone wants to (genuinely) play nines.

I guess it encapsulates why these people started playing way back when...for fun. Then there is the prize incentives.
I think the major draw is the Crowd... That's what kids dream of when they are little. Scoring (or smashing someone) in front of a packed stadium going completely bonkers...
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This year yet?
THE NRL has announced a new rule for the Auckland Nines, giving teams a “free play” advantage when the opposing team makes a mistake.

The 16 clubs will do battle in the annual pre-season event at Eden Park on February 6 and 7, with NZ$2.6 million on offer.

The new rule is aimed at allowing the team which gains possession from a mistake to attempt a high risk play without fear of losing advantage.

RELATED: Nines draw and pools announced

Under the rule, the referee will call “zero tackle” when a team gains possession from a knock on, forward pass or accidental offside.

That will signal a “free play” which will enable the team which gains possession to have an extended advantage. This means they will retain the ball even if they make a mistake.

The advantage will only be complete if the team scores, if a player commits foul play or a player with the ball is tackled. If the ball is dropped or lost before the next play the ball, the referee will order a play the ball at the point of the original infringement.

The “free play – advantage” rule follows other Nines rule innovations including five-point tries when scored in the ‘bonus zone’, golden tries to decide matches and dropkicks for conversions.

RELATED: Nines jerseys unveiled

NRL general manager of football Nathan McGuirk said: “We are hoping to see teams take advantage of this rule with some amazing, opportunistic plays, which we think will result in more points and more great tries scored for the fans.”

Change to NRL Auckland Nines Laws “FREE PLAY” – ADVANTAGE

1. The Referee should look to play advantage wherever possible.

a. Following a knock on, forward pass, or accidental offside and where the non-offending team gains possession, the Referee will immediately call and signal “zero tackle” to indicate a “free play” and allow play to continue until the ball is correctly brought into play (or points are scored) at the next play-the-ball, providing the team attempting to take advantage is still in possession.

b. The advantage shall be deemed as complete when (a) the ball is correctly brought back into play i.e., play-the-ball on “zero tackle”;
(b) points have been scored (by scoring of a try or kicking a field goal), or (c) the team in possession is penalised for foul play.

c. For the purpose of this Law, the opposing team playing at the ball during the “free play” will not constitute possession, and the advantage should be allowed to continue.

d. If the non-offending team is still in possession at the next play-the-ball then the Referee will call and signal that tackle as “zero tackle”. If the team attempting to take advantage loses possession before the next play-the-ball then the Referee will blow his/her whistle and order a play-the-ball to the (original) non-offending team at the point of the original infringement.
I like that rule.

Takes the gray out of the call, such a subjective thing when you are trying to measure whether or not advantage has been taken.