The New Zealand Warriors are long out of excuses.
Since taking the reins in 2017, local hero Stephen Kearney has made some big changes to a playing group that has delivered doughnuts in recent times.
Will the Warriors bring the fight in NRL 2019? Let’s see how the odds are shaping up.
About the New Zealand Warriors
|Home ground:||Mt Smart Stadium|
|2018 ladder finish:||Eighth (15-9)|
Best bookies for NZ Warriors betting
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Updated NZ Warriors futures odds
The best NZ Warriors NRL odds come courtesy of Sportsbet, where new punters can pocket up to $501 in bonus bets upon joining. Sign up now for free.
|2018 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds||Top Tryscorer Odds|
|Mar||$23||$2.20||$5||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $21||C Nicoll-Klokstad – $51|
|Apr||$12||$1.33||$2.30||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $19||D Fusitu’a – $5.50|
|May||$11||$1.16||$1.95||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $19||D Fusitu’a – $5|
|Jun||$15||$1.25||$2.75||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $23||D Fusitu’a – $4.50|
|Jul||$15||$1.25||$2.75||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $23||D Fusitu’a – $4.50|
|Aug||$34||$1.10||$15||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $13||D Fusitu’a – $7.50|
|Sep||$19||N/A||N/A||R Tuivasa-Sheck – $2.60||N/A|
Best NZ Warriors bets for NRL 2018
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for the Warriors, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- The Warriors have talent, but will we see any consistency in 2018? Lack of application from week to week has ruined NZ’s last few campaigns in the NRL. They have to improve sooner or later, but it is hard to imagine them challenging the well-oiled machines of Melbourne, Sydney and North Queensland.
- The Warriors had all sorts of problems in 2017, but a couple of canny off-season acquisitions might well have put them in the frame for a run at the top eight. There are worse candidates for finals, to be sure.
- Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has to be considered a genuine contender for the fullback slot in the Dally M Team of the Year. There are plenty ahead of him in Player of the Year betting, but those seeking out a roughy could do a lot worse.
2018 NZ Warriors draw
|1||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Optus Stadium||Saturday, March 10||7pm|
|2||Gold Coast Titans||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, March 17||3pm|
|3||Canberra Raiders||GIO Stadium||Saturday, March 24||3pm|
|4||Sydney Roosters||Allianz Stadium||Saturday, March 31||5:30pm|
|5||North Queensland Cowboys||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, April 7||5:30pm|
|6||Brisbane Broncos||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, April 14||3pm|
|7||St George Illawarra Dragons||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, April 20||6pm|
|8||Melbourne Storm||AAMI Park||Wednesday, April 25||7pm|
|9||Wests Tigers||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, May 5||5:30pm|
|10||Sydney Roosters||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, May 12||3pm|
|11||Parramatta Eels||ANZ Stadium||Friday, May 18||6pm|
|12||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, May 26||5:30pm|
|14||Manly Sea Eagles||AMI Stadium||Saturday, June 9||3pm|
|15||North Queensland Cowboys||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, June 15||6pm|
|16||Cronulla Sharks||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, June 29||6pm|
|17||Penrith Panthers||Panthers Stadium||Friday, July 6||7:50pm|
|18||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Sunday, July 15||2pm|
|19||Melbourne Storm||Mt Smart Stadium||Sunday, July 22||2pm|
|20||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Sunday, July 29||2pm|
|21||St George Illawarra Dragons||WIN Stadium||Saturday, August 4||3pm|
|22||Newcastle Knights||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, August 10||6pm|
|23||Canterbury Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||Sunday, August 19||2pm|
|24||Penrith Panthers||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, August 24||6pm|
|25||Canberra Raiders||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday, August 31||6pm|
NZ Warriors players to watch in 2018
Position: Second row
The Warriors have lacked experienced, reliable performers who stand up week after week. With five very solid years at the Melbourne Storm under his belt, Harris looks an excellent addition.
Beale is a premiership winner and 11-time New Zealand international rep. Like Harris, he brings considerable quality to a Warriors side that has lacked proven performers in recent years.
We have not seen the very best of Johnson since he won the Golden Boot in 2014. A big year from the Kiwi playmaker could be the difference between playing finals and finishing in the bottom few.
NZ Warriors records and stats
- Most games: 280* Simon Mannering
Most career points: 783* – Shaun Johnson
Most career tries: 152 – Manu Vatuvei
Most points in a season: 242 – Ivan Cleary (2002)
Most points in a match: 28 – Gene Ngamu (vs. Cowboys, 1996)
- Most consecutive wins: Eight (2002)
Most consecutive losses: 11 (2012-13, 2015-16)
Biggest winning margin: 66-0 (vs. Souths, 2006)
Biggest losing margin: 6-62 (vs. Panthers, 2013)
Largest NRL attendance: 38,405 (vs. Eels, 2011)
- While rugby league is the code of choice in Australia, it remains the scrawny little brother in union-mad New Zealand. Nevertheless, league football has enjoyed a healthy cult following in the Auckland area since the early 20th century.
Serious talk of a NZ-based team joining the NSW Rugby League first arose during the expansion push of the 1980s. Years of campaigning bore fruit in 1995, when the Auckland Warriors were admitted to the newly formed Australian Rugby League. The club switched to the rival Super League for the 1997 season and then joined the reunified NRL in ’98.
Auckland’s early years were a struggle both on and off the field, so much so that the club was sold in 2000 and rebranded as the New Zealand Warriors. Turning their focus to unheralded local talent, the new-look Warriors marched to their first finals campaign in 2001 and were losing grand finalists in 2002 after claiming the minor premiership.
A return to hard times was not far away, however. The Warriors finished second from bottom in 2004, 11th in 2005, and 10th in 2006 when they had premiership points deducted due to salary cap breaches the previous season. Ivan Cleary took over in ’06 and steered NZ to three finals series in five years, but the club has not finished in the top eight since the 2011 NRL Grand Final defeat to Manly.
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