War­riors turn it on at CET Arena

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - KARO­LINE TUCKEY

Rugby league fans had a day to re­mem­ber, with a win for the New Zealand War­riors in the first top level game in Manawatu in more than 20 years.

Spec­ta­tors cheered and waved flags through­out the side’s con­fi­dent 26 - 6 win over the Gold Coast Ti­tans at CET Arena, with play­ers greet­ing fans and sign­ing au­to­graphs af­ter the game.

Fan Paul MacDon­ald said he was at the ground for the last War­riors’ pre-sea­son in Palmer­ston North in 1995.

‘‘It’s bet­ter up close, you hear the im­pact of the tack­les, you don’t get that ef­fect on TV. You feel the pain.’’

He was hop­ing for a bet­ter sea­son this year from the War­riors, who fin­ished 10th in 2016. Based on the form they showed on Sun­day, MacDon­ald said things were look­ing hope­ful.

Ter­rence Waruhopa, 10, was

‘‘It's good be­cause it's pro­mot­ing league for the younger ones’’ Wynita Roberts, fan

thrilled to see the game up close.

‘‘See­ing them you get ex­cited, the crowd’s re­ally good - they are cheer­ing, and they’ve got Shaun John­son.’’

Waruhopa played in the Keen Ki­wis mini league fes­ti­val ear­lier in the af­ter­noon, and said he wanted to put more ef­fort into league now.

‘‘It made me in­spired, they tell you to keep try­ing.’’

Wynita Roberts was watch­ing the game with a big group of fam­ily and friends. Her son was a ball boy for the match.

‘‘It’s good be­cause it’s pro­mot­ing league for the younger ones, be­cause it’s not as strong here [as union].’’

PHO­TO­SPORT

A War­riors fan laps up the side’s strong per­for­mance against the Gold Coast Ti­tans in Palmer­ston North.

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