General Warriors 20th Anniversary Memories


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Thought Id start a Windback Wednesday, Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday type thread. If anyone has any photos or recollections please feel free to post on some of the memories created by the club since its inaugural game on 10th March 1995 against the Broncos.

Where better to start than that very day.

March 10th 1995...

img_758_412_56072417.jpg img_758_412_56072418.jpg 1995 opening.png through-the-tunnel.jpg Warriors 1995 first match.jpg 1995 Phil Blake home.PNG
1995 Hitro.jpg 1995 v Broncos.jpg img_758_412_56072416.jpg c6a062586db4cfa27855ba09f13127dae29a1bfc_620x310.jpg
League: The day the Warriors exploded on scene
5:00 AM Sunday Mar 1, 2015

It was 20 years ago this week that the Warriors spectacularly announced their arrival in the NRL writes Michael Burgess

The Warriors run out on to the pitch on the opening night of the Winfield Cup at Ericsson Stadium on 10 March 1995. Photo / PHOTOSPORT

In one corner of the dressing room, Dean Bell was bent over a 44 gallon drum vomiting.

Some of his team-mates couldn't believe what they were seeing but it crystalised for them how big the Warriors' first game against the Brisbane Broncos on March 10, 1995 was.

The buildup and hype had reached frenzied proportions leading up to the match, affecting everyone, even the 33-year-old veteran Bell.

"A few of us were a bit surprised to see Dean like that," remembers former hooker Duane Mann. "Dean had played 20 tests for the Kiwis and big games in England but he was that nervous. We had heard about how big it was and that kinda showed everything."

It also didn't escape the attention of Frank Endacott, who was Warriors assistant coach to John Monie. "Dean had worked himself into such a state he was dry retching. But it was a good sign for him. It reflected the intensity."

"It wasn't an uncommon thing for me in my career," says Bell. "But it was probably much worse that night. There were huge expectations on that game."

Out on the field, Allan Langer and his Broncos team were completing their warm ups as the pre-match entertainment exploded into action.

"We were doing some drills and the next thing these helicopters appeared overhead," he says. "Then there was explosions, the fake bullets, the guns. The players were shitting themselves when they were warming up with all the noise and sound coming across."

At home in Nelson, a nine-year-old Simon Mannering sat in his pyjamas glued to the television screen.

"There was a buzz around the whole country," says Mannering. "I remember it was a big deal because we were allowed to stay up really late to watch it (the match kicked off at 8.30pm to suit Australian networks)."

Up in the grandstand, Warriors chief executive Ian Robson wore a contented grin. Everything had come together - even down to a law amendment being passed three days before to allow the Winfield Cup to be played in this country - and it was "the end of the beginning".

Smoke and soldiers fill the Ericsson stadium in the pre match build up to the Winfield Cup season opener between the Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors were about to arrive, and New Zealand league would never be the same again.

Winfield Cup games had been staged here since 1992 but the creation of the Warriors would take interest to new heights. These were different days - before Super Rugby, the Breakers, ANZ Championship, Football Kingz and the Phoenix.

It felt like the Warriors were league's version of the All Blacks, except they would be playing every week, and corporates were keen to be involved - DB Breweries paid a staggering $15 million for a three-year deal.

The Warriors were given the honour of opening the season and their plans for an elaborate showpiece just got bigger.

"We wanted to create something that would show the NSWRL that we deserved to be in the competition, and that we could do it on a scale like they had never seen before," says Liz Dawson, then the Warriors marketing manager. Dawson and her team wanted an Anzac theme - "more of a commemoration of war rather than a celebration of war" - and also wanted to represent "the battle on the field".

Dawson hired Mike Mizrahi to stage manage the production and the concept got bigger and bigger.

"We had helicopters, armies, huge cannons. You would need resource consents to do anything like that these days and you probably wouldn't get it."

Mizrahi had a theatrical background and thought way beyond the tradition of dignitaries, speeches and fireworks.

"We wanted to start with a big bang, get everyone's attention," Mizrahi says. "You wouldn't be able to do it now."

Mizrahi spent four months on the production which saw a cast of more than 400 create an incredible extravaganza.

The centre piece was a huge pitched battle in the middle of the field. 'Armies' had been delivered on helicopters and explosions and smoke covered the arena. Some soldiers burst into flames during mock war games and later the New Zealand Army fired from canons into the night sky. At one point, a single choirboy aria sang hauntingly as WWII veterans from both countries walked across the field. Later a gymnast was suspended from the roof of the main grandstand, performing on rings as fans craned their neck in astonishment.

Mizrahi expertly built the suspense - at one stage plunging the entire arena into darkness for eight minutes while the searchlights of eight 4W vehicles panned the field through the smoky mist. There was a giant fireball rolled into the centre of the field and the finale saw actors dressed in the playing strip of all 20 clubs lined out along the pitch.
"They all ran on cue and kicked what looked like a ball," says Mizrahi. "But it was a pyrotechnic device which burst into flames."

In the grandstands, more than 30,000 spectators watched in awe.

"I fielded a lot of last-minute requests from politicians wanting tickets," says Robson.

"That's when I knew this was much more than a game, this was an event."

As the fans got their breath back, the Warriors players tried to maintain theirs. They had warmed up on the No 2 field before the slow walk through the long tunnel that connects both grounds as the drums built into a crescendo. Ahead, two 50m flame bars created a spectacular effect. A giant inflatable Warrior - standing almost 40m high - stood above and a legion of Maori warriors flanked the team as they walked through the avenue of fire.

"At that time I was thinking, 'what the hell am I doing here," Bell says. "Do I need to put myself through this again. The atmosphere was only comparable to Wembley Stadium but, emotionally, it meant a lot more. You felt like you were representing the whole of New Zealand league. There were a lot of doubters around and we were determined not to let them down."

Try scorer Sean Hoppe. Photo / Andrew Cornaga

Bell's message to the team before they ran onto Mt Smart Stadium had been simple.

"I told them, 'let's play the game, not the occasion," he says. "Everybody knew it was a huge night but we had to focus on the match."

Monie emphasised the importance of players winning their individual battles and Endacott, who had coached the reserve grade side to a 36-14 win in the curtainraiser, talked to the local boys he knew well.

The team was a blend of senior Australian professionals (Greg Alexander, Phil Blake, Manoa Thompson), young New Zealand talent from the Winfield Cup (Stephen Kearney, Gavin Hill, Gene Ngamu) and raw products from the domestic scene (Tony Tatupu, Tony Tuimavave, Hitro Okesene).

Bell was the obvious leader. After a storied career in England, he had been lured home by Monie and Robson. "Going back at my age was a huge challenge," Bell says, "but I knew if I didn't I would regret it for the rest of my life."

Bell's signing heralded an avalanche of publicity, cleverly driven by Robson, who stage managed the announcement of each new recruit. By the time game week arrived, the hype was on an unfathomable scale.

"I'd never seen anything like it in New Zealand sport," says radio commentator Allen McLaughin, who has been the voice of the Warriors over the past two decades. "The level of coverage was unprecedented; not for the All Blacks, the Olympic or Commonwealth Games."

All 31,000 seats were sold before tickets could be made available to the general public and the franchise had to turn down application for 4500 tickets from their own supporters club.

"After our last training session, John Monie told me to go home and relax, to get my mind off the game," says Bell. "I flicked on the TV and there was something about the Warriors. I started changing channels but we were everywhere."

At 8.36pm, referee Bill Harrigan blew his whistle to open the 1995 season. The Warriors didn't start well, conceding early tries to Willie Carne and Chris Johns, and trailed 10-0.

The game came alive in the 21st minute, when Phil Blake crossed for his 123th career try and the Warriors' first. Five minutes later, Bell stood up Michael Hancock and Wendell Sailor, allowing Sean Hoppe to dive over, and further tries to Tony Tatupu and Tea Ropati saw the Warriors lead 22-10 with 30 minutes to go.

The Broncos had won two of the previous three grand finals and their team was stacked with State of Origin players. The diminutive Langer was the master and prevented a Warriors fairytale. He scored two tries in seven minutes and also kicked a late field goal to hand the visitors a 25-22 win.

"We put ourselves in a position to win but Langer was the difference," Bell says. "It was the only game in my career I have lost that I was happy with. It was a credible defeat."

Warriors fans might still be waiting for the last chapter of the story - a premiership trophy - but what a way to start.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
HISTORY | March 10, 1995-March 10, 2015
Richard Becht
Mon 9th March, 11:29PM

Dean Bell leads the Auckland Warriors run out onto Ericsson Stadium for the opening game of the 1995 Winfield Cup season against the Brisbane Broncos on March 10, 1995. Image |

Check the calendar if you haven’t done so yet.

March 10. Not just March 10 but March 10, 2015. It will click for rugby league folk who like their history. For those who don’t dwell on it so much, it might mean a lot more when March 10, 1995, is mentioned in the same breath.

Indeed this is a red letter day for the Vodafone Warriors, brought to life on this day 20 years ago when the then-Auckland Warriors made their debut in the old Winfield Cup facing the glamour side of the times Brisbane.

Today is a time to reflect, to allow memories to flood back of that unforgettable night. It was one of those events when most sporting people have a story about where they were and what that match meant to them.

Now on March 10, 2015, the club has clocked up 491 matches in the competition after Saturday’s clash against Newcastle; foundation captain Dean Bell was the club’s No 1 player and last weekend young prop Albert Vete made his NRL debut as No 197.

As either the original Auckland Warriors or the Vodafone Warriors, the club has had nine captains in Bell (1995), Greg Alexander (1996), Matthew Ridge (1997-99), John Simon (2000), Stacey Jones and Kevin Campion (2001), Monty Betham (2002-04), Steve Price (2005-09) and current skipper Simon Mannering since 2010.

The coaches across 20 years have been John Monie, Frank Endacott, Mark Graham, Daniel Anderson, Tony Kemp, Ivan Cleary, Brian McClennan, Tony Iro, Matt Elliott and now Andrew McFadden.

Twice the club has reached the NRL grand final and won the minor premiership in 2002; it had the distinction of having all three sides at ANZ Stadium on grand final day in 2011; and the Vodafone Junior Warriors have won the NYC premiership three times in the last five years while losing in the grand final in 2013.

Through it all, though, one date – March 10, 1995 – means everything. And at the forefront of it on that day was Dean Bell. On this day 20 years later it couldn’t be more appropriate to recount how it played out for him in this edited extract from the opening chapter of his biography ‘Dean Bell – Warrior’ published soon after the inaugural season.


It used to be known as Mt Smart Stadium; now it rings to the name of Ericsson Stadium, courtesy of the age of selling naming rights. It’s not the same ground in appearance either. It has been totally transformed to suit its new purpose as a rugby league arena. And a few minutes before 8.30pm on March 10, 1995, it’s counting down not just to rugby league history but an important chapter in New Zealand sporting history.

Lining up in tunnel in the north-east corner of the ground waiting to be feted by 31,500 spectators are the players who’ll generate a sporting phenomenon, led by the Aucklander who has returned home from England to captain the Warriors – Dean Bell. And, even at 32, he’s nervous, very nervous.

He had played 26 Test for New Zealand and 36 matches in all for the Kiwis. He could count seven Challenge Cup final appearances at Wembley among his 253 matches for Wigan, plus 40 Winfield Cup appearances for Eastern Suburbs. Not to mention stints with Carlisle and Leeds, appearances for Oceania and the Rest of the World, Auckland and the New Zealand Maori. But those moments, those precious moments on the night of March 10, 1995, found Dean Bell as nervous as he had ever been.

Which wasn’t altogether surprising because this was no ordinary match. It was an occasion and, as far as games go, as momentous as they come. Auckland, indeed New Zealand and Australia, too, had waited for this – to see New Zealand’s first fully professional sporting team enter a competition regarded as the pinnacle in its code. The one the coaches and players always call “the toughest in the world”.

And the Warriors’ organisation, as it would on many other occasions during this first season, ensured the Winfield Cup debut had memorable touches throughout. Not least among them was the innovative idea to use that tunnel as a special entry point for the Warriors. The visitors would run onto the field from the more conventional entrance under the main grandstand – while the Warriors would make their entrance on a grand scale.

In fact, in a year which produced indelible sporting images of Peter Blake hoisting the America’s Cup and Jonah Lomu charging through and over England fullback Mike Catt, the Warriors added to the tapestry. It was captured in those moments when Dean Bell led his team through a flame-flanked guard of honour onto Ericsson Stadium.

Timing was everything. The operation had to be synchronised for maximum effect. An event which had been hyped up beyond belief for weeks still had more in store, reaching its crescendo with the dynamic entrance. The crowd went delirious. Dean Bell was overwhelmed.

“Standing there at the tunnel I could hear almost feel the roar. There had been such a build-up and finally we were there,” says Bell.

“There was an overwhelming feeling of pride knowing what was happening. And experienced as I am, I did have to physically hold the tears back walking through the flames. It was very emotional. It dawned on me that this is why I came back home. I knew I’d made the right decision.

“Using the tunnel was a great idea. It gave us that sort of grand entrance, especially with the way they have the two lines of flames. It makes you feel like you’re walking out onto your stage. I knew we were going to come out from that tunnel the very first time I had a look at the ground when I came home. And I went through that in my mind every time we trained. I would look at it and picture in my mind how were going to come through it.

“But I was incredibly nervous, so nervous I nearly tripped over as I ran onto the field – which would have gone down really well with the crowd. There’s a slight rise from the track to the field and I stumbled on it with the sprigs of my boots.

“The Brisbane match was very much like my first Challenge Cup final appearance at Wembley (in 1988). That feeling of going into the unknown. Going out onto the Wembley was something I’d never done before. Going out onto Ericsson that night was just the same. I’d never played a Winfield Cup game with those players before. We just didn’t know how things were going to go.”

It wasn’t quite a feeling of helplessness. Bell realised he and his players could determine their destiny that night – but there was fair reason for a hint of fear. The fear of being involved in a debacle after such an astonishing build-up. Bell had been through it all before.

Before returning for Operation Warriors, Dean Bell hadn’t played at home since 1988, when he played for the Kiwis in their World Cup final appearance at Eden Park, That in itself said enough.

“What we went through all added up to the same scenario as the 1988 World Cup final. And I did think about that, too,” he says. “It could go two ways. We could have been thrashed or we could have been competitive.”

There’d been no shortage of reminders about the day. The players had been subjected to a demanding promotional programme over and above their training requirements. Shooting the Tina Turner advertisement and the Warriors’ own effort had frayed tempers at times, Bell insisting the requirements, while accepted, tended to be far more time-consuming than they ought to have been.

And no matter what he did, he couldn’t hide from the hype. “The night before the game John had asked us to relax and do something unrelated to the game,” says Bell. “So I went to the movies and, when I came home, I flicked the television on to watch the news. Well, there was something on about the Warriors and, when I changed channel, there was something else about the game. Surely it wouldn’t have been on a third channel? Sure enough, the Warriors were on again. There was just no escaping it.”

Bell’s match-day ritual was no different than usual. A late morning video movie as a diversion plus keeping to himself as much as possible, his wife Jackie ensuring son Kurtis and daughter Chloe were out of the frame much of the time. And, typically, eating was a worry.

“I don’t eat much on match day – not because I don’t want to. Because I can’t. I spew it up all the time,” says Bell. “Right from when I was kid I’ve been a chucker like that. I tried much harder to force some food down this year and it benefited me. I still had my chunders and, true to form, I dry retched before the Brisbane game. It’s a weekly event. No one likes getting changed next to me because they don’t know what’s coming.”

Bell knew what was coming in the match, however. He’d be marking the abrasive Michael Hancock instead of Brisbane’s splendid centre Steve Renouf, who’d been ruled out with injury – a decided bonus.

But once the game started, the Warriors very soon found themselves wondering what was in store for them as, within 14 minutes, Brisbane bolted to a 10-0 lead through a dubious Willie Carne try and a converted Chris Johns touchdown.

Yet, just when the Warriors were threatened with a woeful baptism, they transformed the contest and made the night even more memorable than it had been.

The Australian connection had a say. Centre Manoa Thompson’s great pass created room for his winger Whetu Taewa to carve up Brisbane down the left flank and find Phil Blake inside for a dazzling try. The Warriors’ first in Winfield Cup football and it had gone to an Australian.

Before the half was out, Dean Bell’s angled run and inside ball to Sean Hoppe had laid on another try and second rower Tony Tatupu had a third Auckland try to give the home side a 16-10 halftime lead.

Even with Phil Blake in the sin bin, the Warriors were dictating affairs in the second half; Hitro Okesene putting replacement Tea Ropati over and Gene Ngamu’s conversion stretching the lead to what seemed tantalisingly close to a match-winning 22-10.

Just when the perfect result promised to top the night, a little man with tons of talent changed the course of the match. Allan Langer, restricted for much of the game, suddenly started running the show as he scored two tries and the Broncos escaped with a 25-22 win.

“I think deep down not many people thought we’d win but they wanted us to be at least competitive in defeat,” says Bell. “Once the game had finished I was bitterly disappointed. It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you’ve been together, when you get that sort of lead you should finish a team off. The adrenalin should be running so much that no side should be able to get back into the game. A lesson learnt and, at the end of the day, relief that we didn’t disgrace ourselves, that we’d been competitive.

“There were still so many positives to erase the doubts I’d had. While I was annoyed with the defeat, when I sat down and thought about it, I saw plenty of good points in the performance. If you could ever have a moral victory when losing, that was it.”

Among the doubts erased that night were Dean Bell’s own misgivings about his ability. If it had been waning, which he suggested it had been, there was no hint of it in this game. Maybe not quite as quick any more – and at 32 no one would expect him to be – but his all-round class was so obvious. On defence, he was exceptional. On attack, inspirational, as he worked a try for Hoppe and also provided a fabulous ball to Hoppe behind Michael Hancock on another occasion. He was unmistakably the Warriors’ man of the match.

There was some concern about the way the Warriors had surrendered a winning lead but none about the night on a wider scale. The Warriors had delivered everything to the New Zealand sporting public short of a win.


Friday, March 10, 1995

Ericsson Stadium, Auckland

Auckland Warriors 22 (Phil Blake, Sean Hoppe, Tony Tatupu, Tea Ropati tries; Gene Ngamu 3 goals).

Brisbane Broncos 25 (Allan Langer 2, Willie Carne, Chris Johns tries; Julian O’Neill 3 goals, field goal; Allan Langer goal).

Auckland Warriors | Phil Blake; Sean Hoppe, Dean Bell (c), Manoa Thompson, Whetu Taewa; Gene Ngamu, Greg Alexander; Gavin Hill, Duane Mann, Hitro Okesene; Stephen Kearney, Tony Tatupu; Tony Tuimavave. Interchange: Se’e Solomona, Tea Ropati, Jason Mackie, Martin Moana.

Brisbane Broncos | Julian O’Neill; Willie Carne, Chris Johns, Michael Hancock, Wendell Sailor; Kevin Walters, Allan Langer; Glenn Lazarus, Kerrod Walters, Andrew Gee; Brad Thorn, Alan Cann; Darren Smith. Interchange: John Plath, Peter Ryan.

Halftime: 16-10 Warriors.

Referee: Bill Harrigan.


Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
Remember the leading story on the news March 10 1995 was all of the traffic heading to Ericsson Stadium (gotta go back to the name from the time). Our seventh form had a party and I insisted I wasn't turning up unless the game was on. Bugged the hell out of my school mates all week on that one.

Can just remember the build up to the first game and the pre match entertainment. The game was great as well just a pity they didn't get the win to top it off.

Remember waiting for the first win my mate would always go for the opposition cause everyone was going for the Warriors either that or just to wind me up.:mad: We quickly learnt how hard it was to win away from home with every little thing going the home teams way. Was the ball boys at North Sydney doing the quick pass the ball back in 95 or 96?

We dished out some good hidings to in the early days. Remember being really bummed about losing the two points that cost us a place in the semis.

1995 was great with the big crowds every week and finally a team to call our own. It was a long wait from getting approval to join the comp in 92 with all of the build up and signings through to finally getting on the field. I finally had my team to support and it's definitely had some ups and downs with ownership dramas and coach firings, some highs with great years and Grand Final appearances.
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington


Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
May 8, 2012
The song choice caused massive controversy because it had the word war in it. Course all those dicks didnt actually listen to the song and got it totally cocked up but hey it was free publicity.

a big issue was when played with the explosions on the pitch the choppers coming in it looked like they supported the concept.


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
I think people will know exactly the games/moments that stand out for me in the last 20 years just by using a very basic description
Broncos loss
Roosters loss
Manly loss
Penrith loss
Witt vs Storm
SJ vs Storm

Interestingly I don't remember the Warriors biggest victory
  • Like
Reactions: matiunz


It is what it is...
Sep 10, 2012
I think people will know exactly the games/moments that stand out for me in the last 20 years just by using a very basic description
Broncos loss
Roosters loss
Manly loss
Penrith loss
Witt vs Storm
SJ vs Storm

Interestingly I don't remember the Warriors biggest victory
66-0 against Rabbitohs, remember it well was going to my Rabbitohs mates place for a BBQ!!
  • Like
Reactions: matiunz and Miket12

¿N. ig-mah¿

Warriors 1st Grader
May 1, 2012
One of my favourite moments was sitting at a work-do with rugby fan work-mates watching us V Tigers 2011 finals. 5 minutes to go and everyone was giving me shit about them losing again. I kept saying "there is plenty of time, just wait, you'll see".

Then up steps Krisnan Nevada Inu.

I was the star of the party after that and no one could figure out how I knew. I never told them it was almost 20 years worth of undeserved blind faith.


1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
Favourite moment is without doubt the Michael Witt try in Melbourne to win the playoff game. I went berserk and leapt out of bed dancing round my room.

I was there that day at Olympic Park, it was my first time being at an away game after making the move over to Melb earlier that same year. There was two Warriors fans sitting in the row directly in front of me who made the trip over just for the game, and mostly Storm fans around us, we were at the opposite end and opposite side of the ground to where Witt scored that try, so couldn't really see what actually happened, all I saw was Manu making a break, and Witt come flying through, and all the Warriors fans on the other side just went ballistic! When the try was confirmed, we all went nuts as well, the two dudes in front practically dragged me over the seats and in to their row, and it was man hugs and high fives galore, think I even saw some tears in there too.

Absolute shit hole of a stadium, but nowhere else you'd rather be on that day.......priceless!


Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Throwback Thursday

Just two days ago was the 14th anniversary of one of our most important club milestones. On the 24th March 2001 we beat our inaugural opponents the Brisbane Broncos for the first time. And it only took us 6 years!

Credit has always been given to then new signing Kevin Campion who was said to have given the Warriors the blueprint on how to beat his former club. Good old fashioned battle of the forwards. Co-captain Campion himself leading from the front and bashing anything maroon and yellow in sight. After tries to the Warriors from Henry Fa'afili and Logan Swann and for the Broncos from Shaun Berrigan and Corey Parker (Yes. That Corey Parker and former Warrior #165 Berrigan) as well as two goals apiece from Stacey Jones and Micheal De Vere the game would be decided by a drop goal by none other than our other co-captain Stacey Jones himself. The relief and elation on the boys faces at the end of the game was obvious.

Since that night we have gone on to win another 14 encounters and lost 11 times. Thats a 58% win ratio. The Broncos actually havent won at Mt Smart since Round 3 28th March 2009. Heres hoping this weekend that trend continues this Sunday...

2001 beat Broncos first time 1.PNG
2001 beat Broncos first time.PNG
Capture342.PNG Capture344.PNG Capture345.PNG

1. Clinton Toopi
2. Henry Fa'afili
3. Shontayne Hape
4. David Myles
5. Francis Meli
6. Cliff Beverly
7. Stacey Jones (c)
8. Ali Lauitiiti
9. Jason Death
10. Monty Betham
11. Logan Swann
12. Awen Guttenbeil
13. Kevin Campion (c)

14. Richard Villasanti
15. Justin Morgan
16. Nathan Wood
17. Jonathan Smith

COACH Daniel Anderson


1. Lote Tuqiri
2. Justin Hodges
3. Chris Walker
4. Michael De Vere
5. Wendall Sailor (c)
6. Ben Ikin
7. Shaun Berrigan
8. Shane Webke
9. Luke Priddis
10. Petero Civoniceva
11. Brad Myers
12. Dane Carlaw
13. Ashley Harrison

14. Carl Webb
15. Shane Walker
16.Corey Parker
17. Darren Burns

COACH Wayne Bennett
  • Like
Reactions: Jay M


Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
May 8, 2012
Greg Alexander looks back on his time with the Warriors

yea i saw this - at a time when it would have been good to have a positive spin on the club the best he could say was that people forget he was in the warriors and that it was a really good time to be a warrior. then he picked the Broncos to beat the Warriors at home even thought they would be damn near unbeatable at home.


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
I thought Brandy spoke well of his time here and given he is a harsh critic of the Warriors, I thought he put a lot of thought into his answers and he was careful about labeling the club as the big disappointment that it turned out to be.

Twenty years to build something and bugger all learned in that time about sorting out the nursery.

The gold mine that is our local kids is still a mud run decline here.

Some initiatives that give hope are the local school comp and the targeting of Union school boys.

That should have been set in place at the outset.

Still good to hear Alexander talk about Bell as the tough bastard he was, the guy was washed up and hobbling on his last year....and still influential in the mind of someone like Alexander.

We haven't had an import of the reputation of Alexander since.

That's how hard it is to sign people here. Winning a premiership probably won't change the reality of Aussies not wanting to leave home.

I don't like the emphasis on being a development club on the face of it, but the reality is....that's the only answer long term.

Alexander best tribute was to acknowledge what the Auckland Warriors stood for back then.....a dream realised for league and general sports fans alike....what are we now ? a cult of faith keepers.

Last Game

27 Sep

40 - 28
6.5 Total Avg Rating
0.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 19 ratings