The Tigers are coming to town
The Bulldogs last year, Tigers in 2014.
The New Zealand Warriors will be playing Wests Tigers at Westpac Stadium in round 4 of rugby league’s NRL on March 30.
Following the success of the Bulldogs fixture at Westpac last May — when more than 30,000 saw the Sydney side prevail 24-16 over the Warriors — Wellington rugby league’s general manager, Jason Hemson, said it was important to keep up the momentum.
‘‘There is a definite attitude in the NRL for the game to go away from the traditional strongholds [such as Brisbane and Sydney],’’ he said.
‘‘ So we’re seeing games in places like Perth, Darwin, Sydney’s central coast and Wellington. ‘‘ It’s important we promote the game, getting to audiences who may not have a chance to see live rugby league.’’
Hemson said Wellington was essentially on trial because the NRL was looking to expand the competition. This was a chance for Wellington to put itself forward.
The Warriors travel to Hamilton to play the Bulldogs this season, but the Tigers would be an exciting prospect, Hemson said.
‘‘They had a tough season last year, but they have exciting kids coming through, like Curtis Sironen and Luke Brooks, and the Wellington club rugby league’s premier pre-season tournament will be run over three weekends from March 15.
All matches will be played on the Bernie Wood Field at Ascot Park, Porirua. experience of the likes of Robbie Farah and Braith Anasta will be great to watch. ‘‘Round 4 is an interesting point in the season. It’ll be a great occasion and potentially an even contest. ’’
The Warriors start with the Eels (away), Dragons (Eden Park) and Cowboys (away), so could be off to a flier and be fizzing for the Tigers game, he said.
Hemson said a Sunday game was an opportunity for the family to attend and was part of the NRL’s commitment for more matches on Sundays.
The final on March 29 may be attended by officials and players from the New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers.
Games will likely be at 1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm and 5.30pm each day. Entry will be free.
He didn’t think there would be another 30,000-strong crowd, but was confident of more than 20,000.
Wellington Phoenix play at Westpac Stadium on the Saturday. That created a rare double-header that many would take advantage of, Hemson said.
In the week leading to the match he expected fringe and injured Warriors to be available at community events such as training and autograph sessions.
The Warriors v Tigers game begins at 2pm.
Eye of the Tiger: Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah will a key to his side’s success this season.