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Kerikeri Set To Make History

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kerikeri Set To Make History

11 August 2009 - Kerikeri is set to make provincial rugby history this weekend when it hosts a unique match in Week 3 of the Air New Zealand Cup competition.

All eyes will be on the Far North this Saturday as Auckland head up to Kerikeri Domain to face Northland. The match sets a new milestone for New Zealand rugby -the first time a national provincial championship game has been played anywhere in the region, other than Whangarei since 1976.

The small township has spent months preparing for the special one-off fixture. New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said their efforts illustrated the best of community and rugby spirit.

"It's been amazing to hear how the whole town, from the Mayor to local students, have been mucking in to get Kerikeri Domain and Kerikeri ready for their big game. It's exactly the kind of support and enthusiasm for grassroots rugby we've come to enjoy in the provinces," he said.

A 3000 seat grandstand and a three-storey Sky TV tower were built especially for the game. Media portacom prefabs have been put in to accommodate the nation's media, and 20 temporary corporate box trucks, which were sold within a week of tickets going on sale, will be located onsite this week

Northland Rugby Union Chairman Andrew Golightly said there had been great support for the team early in the season, and with 3,500 tickets pre-sold, signs were good for a huge turnout on Saturday.

"It's going to be a great day in the Far North. Everyone is excited about this special match, and the ground is looking fantastic," Mr Golightly said.

To help rally Northland support, this week's NZRU Team Bus campaign - a new initiative designed to boost loyal supporters of an Air New Zealand Cup team every week - will be parking up outside Kerikeri Domain on Saturday.

Now into its third week, the Team Bus initiative focuses on one game every week of the Air New Zealand Cup competition, where fans nominate their local rugby club to be the Team Bus base on game day, and register to win free tickets.

So far, the Team Bus has travelled to Wellington and Auckland, where 200 provincial rugby fans have enjoyed the pre-match entertainment and the ride to the game in five-star coaches.

Northland rugby supporters can now register online to win tickets for themselves and three friends, to the Kerikeri match. Winners will join in the pre-match fun at the Kaikohe Rugby Club, hosted by local former All Black Alastair Robinson, and then hitch a ride on the Team Bus to watch the game live at the Kerikeri Domain. For more information go online to www.teambus.co.nz.

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