Fancy a trip to Dreamworld, plus all the international footy you can shake a stick at?
Queensland Tourism and the NRL have combined to sweeten the deal for the Anzac Test weekend in two weeks.
The NZ Kiwis will seek their third straight win over the Kangaroos on May 1 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, with the Kiwi Ferns and the NZ Defence Force playing curtainraisers against their Aussie counterparts.
The next day, the Junior Kiwis take on the Junior Kangaroos as part of a triple bill at Gold Coast’s Cbus Stadium, which will also include Fiji v Papua New Guinea and Samoa v Tonga.
Rugby league fans can now secure a pass for both nights, plus a visit to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, for A$60 (children) and A$80 adults.
That’s a great deal!
Also available are offers that package just the Brisbane tests/Dreamworld or just the Gold Coast tests/Dreamworld.
Come support your NZ teams … can they achieve a sweep of victories?
Simply click on the relevant tab below to book your tickets.
The NRL, in conjunction with Channel 9 and McGuire Media, has launched a new reality TV show called "The NRL Rookie", which will perform a global search to discover new talent capable of playing rugby league at the highest level. During 2015, the NRL, supported by Telstra, will assemble a group of potential rookies who have what it takes to play in the NRL. They will live in a Sydney house and undergo an intense training programme, coupled with a variety of challenges to demonstrate their strengths and ability, and transform them into the elite sportsman. As the show progresses, the number of rookies will be reduced on a weekly basis and will culminate with thewinner being awarded a professional contract with an NRL club. A guaranteed NRL contract, it's the greatest prize in Australian sport! "The NRL Rookie" will broadcast in 2016, and will find a player the NRL recruiters have never seen or have missed.
Right now, somewhere out there in Australia, New Zealand or on distant shores is a weekend warrior, a man playing in a local club, but dreaming of an NRL career – that man will be the winner of "The NRL Rookie". Visit nrlrookie.com for more information and to apply. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA In order to be eligible for the programme, NRL rookies must meet the following criteria:
Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have the required physical attributes and sporting prowess to advance to the trials stage.
Applicants from other sports are welcome as long as they can demonstrate that they have what it takes to be an NRL superstar of the future. TRIALS Four national trials will be conducted during June to identify the candidates who will feature on the show. Those trials will likely take place in Sydney, Auckland, Townsville and Brisbane, with dates and venues to be confirmed in the near future.
WHOLE-OF-GAME BENEFITS The series aims to benefit to everyone involved in rugby league from grassroots through to the NRL clubs, by:
NZ Warriors star Manu Vatuvei showed his temperament for the big occasion and his readiness for next month’s Anzac Test, with a standout display in his 200th outing for the Auckland-based club.
With team-mates heeding the “feed the beast” catch cry, Kiwi #720 crossed twice for tries in a tight 32-22 home win over Wests Tigers, rumbling for 117 metres and two linebreaks in the process.
“It’s hard to go past Manu’s performance in his 200th game,” confirms Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, in his appraisal of the latest NRL round. “It was certainly a wonderful day for him.”
Vatuvei’s heroics saw him equal Nigel Vagana (Kiwi #668) as the leading Kiwi tryscorer in the Australian competition, each with 140 touchdowns now.
Meanwhile, the battle for Kiwi forward spots continued to heat up, with Jesse Bromwich continuing his rise up the front row ranks.
“Jesse had one of his trademark performances,” says Kearney. “I know we’ve been talking about for a while, but the way he played showed he is one of, if not the premier prop in the competition.”
Bromwich (Kiwi #775) amassed a game-high 259 running metres, including a linebreak, and made 33 tackles in Melbourne Storm’s 14-10 nailbiter over Canberra Raiders.
International team-mate Tohu Harris (165m/40 tackles) also excelled for Melbourne in that encounter, as did Warriors prop Ben Matulino (158m/33 tackles) and Alex Glenn (159m/26 tackles) for Brisbane.
But, for the third time this season, Sydney Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Kiwi #779) caught the eye with 288 metres and a try assist in 22-18 loss to Kearney’s Broncos outfit. He is still the leading runner of the comp, averaging 247 metres a game.
“The way Roger has been playing, it’s hard to go past him. I think he’s in pretty good form at the moment.”
NZ Kiwis players named for their NRL clubs this weekend are:
Canterbury Bulldogs v Manly Sea EaglesFriday, April 17, 9.35pm NZBulldogs: 1-Sam Perrett, 13-Greg Eastwood, 16-Frank PritchardSea Eagles: 1-Peta Hiku, 4-Steve Matai, 6-Kieran Foran
St George Dragons v Brisbane BroncosFriday, April 17, 9.35pm NZDragons: 7-Benji MarshallBroncos: 11-Alex Glenn
Gold Coast Titans v Penrith PanthersSaturday, April 18, 5pm NZTitans: 1-Josh HoffmanPanthers: 7-Isaac John, 11-Sika Manu, 12-Elijah Taylor, 15-Sam McKendry
North Queensland Cowboys v NZ WarriorsSaturday, April 18, 7.30pm NZCowboys: 13-Jason TaumaloloWarriors: 5-Manu Vatuvei, 7-Shaun Johnson, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Ben Matulino, 11-Bodene Thompson, 13-Simon Mannering
Melbourne Storm v Sydney RoostersSaturday, April 18, 9.30pm NZStorm: 8-Jesse Bromwich, 11-Kevin Proctor, 12-Tohu HarrisRoosters:1-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 4-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 8-Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Wests Tigers v Canberra RaidersSunday, April 19, 4pmTigers: 13-Martin Taupau, 14-Dene HalatauRaiders: 15-Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Newcastle Tigers v Parramatta EelsSunday, April 19, 6pmTigers: 13-Jeremy Smith, 15-David Fa’alogo
Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney RabbitohsMonday, April 20, 9pmSharks: 2-Sosaia Feki, 3-Gerard BealeRabbitohs: 4-Bryson Goodwin, 9-Issac Luke
NZ Rugby League would like to thank partners Pirtek, BLK and Revera for their support of the NZ Kiwis programme.
NZ Rugby League patron Sir Peter Leitch (aka The Mad Butcher) is on the warpath again, whipping up support for our national teams over Anzac Test weekend.
We'll have four national teams in action over May 1/2 in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so it's a unique opportunity to cross the ditch and get behind the black jersey.
Heck, you can even win your own to wear.
Sir Peter isn't leading an official tour group this time, but he has done the legwork in terms of tracking down accommodation and entertainment options for Kiwis supporters.
Check out his latest special-edition newsletter here and here, and then track down your passport. We're going Roo hunting!
NZ Kiwi #550 and NZ Rugby League president Howie Tamati has been recognised for lifetime achievement at the annual NZ Sport & Recreation Awards in Auckland.
Best known for role as an international hooker, playing 50 games for the Kiwis between 1979-85, Tamati later coached the national side for two years and continues to make his presence felt in the game.
But the mana he brings to the sport's administration is also felt beyond his favoured code, serving three terms on the New Plymouth District Council (1999-2007) and as chief executive of Sport Taranaki since 1994.
"Honestly, I am lost for words," said Tamati at the awards function. "Rugby league has been a catalyst for taking me out of the small Taranaki town of Waitara and putting me on the international stage to fulfill my dreams.
"I stand here today truly humbled by this opportunity."
Tamati had to force back tears of emotion at receiving the award.
"You know, as a rugby league player, I used to play in the front row with some of the toughest men in the world," he quipped. "But I tend to get emotional."
Tamati joined veteran netball/softball administrator Fay Freeman and multisports promoter Arthur Klapp as recipients of lifetime achievement awards.
NZRL was among the finalists in the commercial partnership category of the awards, combining with DB and Cheers! for the "Legendary Mates" campaign advocating smart alcohol choices during last year's Four Nations tournament.
But they were headed off for the prize by Yachting NZ and Aon NZ.
Rugby league did feature among the winners, though, when Ateed and Duco Events took out the innovation award for their running of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.