New Zealand Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitoes

Feburary 24th, Carlaw Park

With a sold out crowd of 14,000 Carlaw park hosted the Warriors second preseason match and the first Warriors match of the year. It was also the Rabbitoes first match in New Zealand since 1999. The Crowd was in good spirits before the match, booing Auckland City mayor John Banks. Before the match the Mt Albert squad that took on the Rabbitoes all those years back was re-assembled and the ARL gave out two lifetime meberships, one to the Mad-Butcher.

The Rabbitoes had the better start, with the Warriors giving away possesion and then being forced to have a goal line drop out. But their defence proved up to it and they survived. Shane Rigon had to be helped off by two trainers after he tryed to tackle Richard Villasanti, who started at prop despite Paleaasina wearing the number 10 jersey. The Warriors scored a penalty to take a 2-0 lead. Villasanti was then held up just a meter away from the try line by the rabbitoes but the next play the Warriors swung it out to the other wing for Guttenbeil to score of a short Hohaia ball. Hohaia played well despite looking shakey early on and made three back-to-back tackles late in the second half. Cleary Converts, Warriors 8-0. After Souths fighting back and Faumuina scoring a try the half time score was 14-12.

The second half saw Villasanti score a lovely try of a Jones line break and Campion score after a nice dummy. Campion had a mixed game with two droped balls. Brent Webb totally stuffed up his only goal attempt, hopefully that isn't a true indication of his goalkicking talents. Morgan looks really good, as did most of the forward pack. Brent Webb was good, playing at fullback, wing and dummy half. Cleary played some of the match at standoff. Carlaw did some great one on one tackles and some nice runs.

All in all the Warriors couldn't stop the Rabbitoes offloading and when out forwards did off load we ended up going sideways unlike the rabbitoes who got at least 8 meters every off load. The Rabbitoes out scored us and any team with a goal kicker, or even a semi-goal kicker, would of put us away.

Warriors CEO Mick Watson commented "We didn't play very well, We were making holes but throwing the ball away. We're taking it very seriously. We have to consolidate on last year."