The National Rugby League today confirmed that the Manly Sea Eagles will host the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday, June 9, at 5pm, at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
The Sea Eagles recently committed to bringing at least two home games to Christchurch in 2018 and 2019 with an option for a third match in 2020.
Sea Eagles Chairman Scott Penn is excited the draw has confirmed the New Zealand Warriors as the opponents in June.
“Sea Eagles matches against the Warriors are always great events and getting them in the peak of the season should get the fans excited,” Mr Penn said.
Match promoter Justin Wallace is pleased the NRL has agreed to give the fixture the early Saturday NRL slot at 5pm to make the match more attractive for families.
“Last year the early kick-off was a huge success when we hosted the Panthers in Christchurch and we had thousands of young kids at the game,” says Mr Wallace, who added that the organisers will again offer attractive family deals to make the match more affordable for family groups.
The tickets for last year’s Penrith match at AMI Stadium sold fast and Mr Wallace advises fans to get their tickets early.
The match organisers have also introduced a staggered early-bird pricing model with the biggest discount for those fans who purchase their tickets early. Very much like airline seats, the price will increase once the allocated cheaper tickets have been snapped up.
“Last year, the demand was extremely high from the moment the tickets went on sale and we think Manly will be even a bigger draw card” says Mr Wallace.
Mr Penn is confident that Manly will grow its existing fan base among Canterbury’s large rugby league community over the next few years.
“Getting an early kick-off and hopefully lots of kids in the stands, fits perfectly in our goal to turn young Cantabrians into Sea Eagles fans,” Mr Penn said.
“Of course, we understand there will be lots of Warriors fans at the game, but we are confident that the Christchurch fans will be attracted to a high-profile NRL club, with lots of Kiwi connections, that is committed to their city.”
Mr Penn says that the game will be the highlight of a full week of community interaction by the Sea Eagles across the city, with visits to schools and clubs, coaching clinics and signing sessions.
With their strong Christchurch and New Zealand connections, Manly hopes to replicate the sell-out crowd the Penrith Panthers attracted against the New Zealand Warriors in 2016.
Current Manly player Lewis Brown is a former Riccarton Knights junior, while former Kiwis and Canterbury legend Quentin Pongia is in charge of Player Welfare at the Sea Eagles.
Current New Zealand International Martin Taupau is key member of the squad while Toff Sipley has joined Manly from the Warriors and is expected by be a prominent player in their line-up for the June 9 match.
Tickets for the game go on sale on at www.ticketek.co.nz at 12pm on Friday 27th October 2017.
Members will hear of the exclusive pre-sale opportunities via email soon.
The Club will offer a Membership package that will include a ticket to the round 14 match. Details to come soon.
Manly Sea Eagles v New Zealand Warriors
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, Saturday June 9
5pm (NZ) kick-off