Late Tackle


Rugby league fans are jumping for joy at the possibility of the Warriors moving into the prestigious top four in the National Rugby League.

But it’s not a scenario transport planners and commuters would have had in their favourites.

Trains and buses are fully committed to the opening night of the Rugby World Cup on Friday September 9. And we could have a big Warriors game on the very same night at Mt Smart.

Even with all the planning for the opening night of the RWC, commuters are going to battle for a seat.

Regular train commuters are being warned they’ll need to leave work early that afternoon. Authorities say that from 3.30pm, commuter train frequencies will reduce and services will become extremely busy carrying fans to Eden Park.
Drivers are warned that they will have delays in the CBD and Eden Park areas with some roads closed. The roads and public transport will be very busy.

It’s not just the Eden Park game.

Being the actual launch of the Cup, there’ll be potentially thousands milling around the CBD and then trying to get home later.

Free waterfront celebrations will stretch from Queens Wharf to the Eastern Viaduct along Quay St. The event kicks off at 4pm with a fleet of 20 waka arriving and will include headline act The Finn brothers, as well as the largest fireworks and light show Auckland has ever seen.

This is a potential mad nightmare.

The Warriors’ 26-12 win over Penrith on Saturday has provided the opportunity for a magical night on the 9th for Warriors fans who often desert the team and Mt Smart in bad times but flock to support the team when there’s an actual possibility of some good news.

Two rounds remain to be played. They play the Dragons (5 losses in a row) on Friday and then the Cowboys. Warriors have come back this season as they sometimes do – with 6 wins out of the last 7 games.

If the Warriors can keep their placing in the next games, they will  play the first of the NRL finals at Mt Smart stadium on September 9 and media reports today quote league officials saying that can’t be changed.

League fans will pray for regular long trains from Penrose

Fans going to Mt Smart will be able to get there by train – but thousands coming back will be challenged.

The Maxx journey planner has 2 trains scheduled at 10.15 and 11.15pm.

Late Auckland train services are planned through to 1.30 – 2.30am on Rugby World Cup match nights but whether that will help Mt Smart fans waiting to get home on a night taxis will be at a premium and roads busy will be a challenge as nothing about moving thousands from Mt Smart was in the planning schedule.

And then there’s the added issue of security.

League fans provided a boisterous lot at the Four Nations league test series at Eden Park in November. Police  made 6 arrests and complained empty plastic bottles made it to the field during the Mexican waves from the “large boisterous crowd.” Fans were busy drinking before the game at Kingsland (photo above). It led to tougher game alcohol measures including a crackdown on drinking on trains going to the games. Some league fans said they were unfairly portrayed in the media as unruly and it was just the novelty of playing at Eden Park and the proximity of Kingsland drinking joints.
Nevertheless, boisterous fans coming back on public transport after a win or loss at Mt Smart may need some adult supervision.
So seriously can Auckland cope with another major sporting event on that night?




  1. Joust says:

    Go the warriors!

  2. Patrick says:

    well if the regional fuel tax wasn’t dumped we would have more new stations and trains

  3. Paul in Sydney says:

    Good luck, everyone

  4. James B says:

    I hope they don’t move the Warriors outside of Auckland. It would be a massive slap in the face to them and their fans who have been loyal all year. If they get a home semi it needs to be played in front of their home fans.

  5. Owen Thompson says:

    Go the Warriors! First time ever I’ve said that, but lets close Auckland down because of two sporting events. There’s more to life than sport.

  6. terry says:

    Mike lee better apologise to rugby league bosses
    or face being outsed next city elections or 28000 fans will oust him you bonehead Mike Lee. You should be glad league is here who else is gonna make up the shortfall of the RWC. Maybe they go to wellington or the new stadium in the south island (i hope not but with bonehead remarks like in nz herald who knows what they eill do.
    Nrl are about to get abig boost soon hopefully 1 billion plus does auckland want a piece of that

  7. terry says:

    i was at the game at eden park and those fans were not regular warriors fans THy were rugby fans idots that why most league fans dont want ther first game at Eden Park buit you can fit more people ther and hey it makes more money
    stuff like this doesnt happen at Mt Smart maybe you should come to one of ther games there


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