Warriors' homecoming confirmed as tough NRL draw announced

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Nov 2021, 3:40PM
If the match goes ahead, it will end a 1023 day drought for the Warriors, dating back to August 30, 2019. (Photo / Photosport)
If the match goes ahead, it will end a 1023 day drought for the Warriors, dating back to August 30, 2019. (Photo / Photosport)

Warriors' homecoming confirmed as tough NRL draw announced

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Nov 2021, 3:40PM

The Warriors' long-awaited return to Mt Smart has been confirmed, with the club set to play five games in Auckland in the 2022 NRL season. 

The NRL draw was released on Tuesday, with round 15 slated as the first match in this country since the Covid-19 pandemic turned things upside down. 

The homecoming is set for June 18, with a Saturday night game against reigning premiers Penrith Panthers. 

If that match goes ahead, it will end a 1023-day drought, as the Warriors last appeared at Mt Smart on August 30, 2019, against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

The other scheduled Mt Smart fixtures are round 16 (Wests Tigers), round 20 (Melbourne Storm), round 22 (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and round 25 (Gold Coast Titans). 

All of the matches will be staged on a fly-in, fly-out basis, with both teams arriving within 72 hours of the match. 

It was seen as the most pragmatic solution, given the ongoing border uncertainty, with the club based in Redcliffe in northeast Brisbane next season. 

The Warriors are scheduled to play five of their home games at Redcliffe's Moreton Daily Stadium, with one each at Sunshine Coast Stadium and Suncorp Stadium (Magic Round) plus the quintet in New Zealand. 

The Warriors kick off their season against the Dragons on the Sunshine Coast. 

At first glance, their 2022 draw looks tougher than last season. 

Next year they face the Storm, Penrith and Rabbitohs twice, who were a class above the rest last season. 

The other dual matchups are with the Titans, Dragons, Tigers, Cowboys, Raiders and Sharks. 

No NRL game is easy but Nathan Brown's team will have a chance to build a solid platform in the first quarter of the season, facing only two 2021 top eight sides (Titans and Roosters). 

From there it gets tougher, with the second half of 2022 particularly daunting. 

The Warriors will face the Sea Eagles, Panthers and Eels in the space of six rounds in June and July, before an intimidating final quarter, with games against the Storm, Rabbitohs, Panthers and Titans, along with a trip to Townsville. 

Warriors' 2022 NRL draw 

  1. Sat March 12 - 4.30pm: v Dragons, Sunshine Coast Stadium,Bokina
    2. Sat March 19 - 2.00pm: v Titans, Cbus Super Stadium, Robina 
    3. Fri March 25 - 6.00pm: v Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown 
    4. Sat April 2 - 2.00pm: v Broncos, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 
    5. Fri April 8 - 6.00pm: v Cowboys, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 
    6. Sun April 17 - 2.00pm: v Roosters, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 
    7. Mon April 25 - 7.00pm: v Storm, AAMI Park, Melbourne 
    8. Sat April 30 - 3.00pm: v Raiders, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 
    9. Sun May 8 - 4.05pm: v Sharks, PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla 
    10. Sat May 14 - 3.00pm: v Rabbitohs, Suncorp Stadium (Magic Round) 
    11. Sat May 21 - 3.00pm: v Dragons, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah 
    12. Sat May 28 - 3.00pm: v Knights, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 
    13. Sat Jun 4 - 7.35pm: v Sea Eagles, 4 Pines Park, Manly 
    14. Sun June 12 - 6.15pm: v Sharks, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe 
    15. Sat June 18 - 7.30pm: v Panthers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 
    16. Sun July 3 - 4.00pm: v Wests Tigers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 
    17. Bye 
    18. Fri July 15 - 7.55pm: v Eels, Commonwealth Bank Stadium, Parramatta 
    19. Sat July 23 - 3.00pm: v Raiders, GIO Stadium, Canberra 
    20. Fri July 29 - 8.00pm: v Storm, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 
    21. Sat August 6 - 3.00pm: v Rabbitohs, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokina 
    22. Fri August 12 - 8.00pm: v Bulldogs, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 
    23. Fri August 19 - 6.00pm: v Cowboys, QCB Stadium, Townsville 
    24. Fri August 26 - 6.00pm: v Panthers, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith 
    25. Sat Sept 3 - 5.00pm: v Titans, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland