The New Zealand Warriors, formerly known as Auckland, are often referred to as the Warriors. Established in 1995, the Warriors were essential to the initial expansion of the ARL, and based in Penrose, Auckland first started off in the NSWRL (New South Wales Rugby League – established prior to the ARL) with positive reactions from fans.
New Zealand Warriors Information
Home Ground: Mt Smart Stadium
Colours: Black & White
Number of Premierships Won: 0
Number of Minor Premierships Won: 1 (2002)
The New Zealand Rugby League was initially founded in 1909, with Auckland the central area in the country for producing talented players. While many players moved to Australia or Great Britain to further their careers, the Auckland Warriors as they were originally known were founded in 1995 to enter into the ARL. While they have never won the Premiership, the Warriors came close in 2002, pipped to the post by Sydney in the grand final. Sydney claimed their 12th title that year, while the NZ Warriors walked away with a consolation prize that season having won the Minor Premiers title.
In their debut season, faced with overcoming claims it was out of sorts to field a league side from a union based nation, the Warriors finished well enough at tenth from 20. The worst finish for the team to date was in the 2004 season, ending equal last – lucky not to claim the wooden spoon, having the better point difference than South Sydney. Winning just six matches from 24, the Warriors had been tipped before the season started to do incredibly well, but suffered some humiliating defeats.
Emblem, Colours & Jerseys
The emblem of the New Zealand Warriors is a black and silver warrior mask often associated with the Maori culture. The colour theme is carried through to their jerseys, with the home colours being predominantly black with white, while the away colours are reversed to predominantly white with black. However in 2010 they added a 15 year anniversary jersey to their options, mainly blue with a grey Heritage design which was opted for when away from home, and opponents wore white.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the Warriors’ home ground is the Mt Smart Stadium which can seat up to 30,000 spectators for home fixtures – at least 12 per season. In 2003, renovations went ahead on the stadium to provide a new spectator stand and training facilities for the Warriors. Many dedicated supporters of the New Zealand Warriors sign up as members, allowing them to reserve their own seat for the 12 regular season matches, receive the latest news and media releases via email, exclusive invites to member only events and many other worthwhile perks. Membership price depends on where you want to sit in the stadium, with prices upwards of $220 for an adult and $140 for a child.
The mascot for the Warriors is Toki, (pronounced Tor-Kee) and is a part gladiator, part showman and regarded by many as ‘the man’.
Betting On The New Zealand Warriors
When it comes to betting on the New Zealand Warriors, any extreme market such as the overall winner, or the wooden spoon winner should be written off, as over the past few seasons they have finished in the middle half of the table. In head-to-head markets it is often lucrative to wager on the Warriors winning if they are at home, with the majority of fixtures taking place at the Mt Smart Stadium tending to go their way.