With 25 days to go before the Hurricanes take on the Crusaders in the Super Rugby pre-season game at the Mangatainoka RFC, all tickets have been sold.
Hurricanes commercial manager Sam Rossiter-Stead couldn’t think of a better way for his team to start the season.
“This is a fantastic way to begin the 2012 Hurricanes season – our third full house at Mangatainoka,” he says. “With this year’s tickets selling even faster than the two previous years, the team at Tui Brewery and the local Mangatainoka community has brought the big game back to the heartland. I know our players are thrilled at the prospect of returning to Mangatainoka and putting on a real show for the fans.”
The pre-season opener, to be held on Saturday February 11th is the brainchild of Tui Brewery commercial manager Nick Rogers. He says the 8023 ticketholders will be in for a treat when two of Super Rugby’s most passionate franchises go head to head.
“Little Mangatainoka will be bursting at the seams with Crusaders and Hurricanes rugby fans,” he says. “It will be a real battle of north versus south.”
Like previous games, February’s game is expected to go down in grass roots rugby folklore. It will again be held on Neil ‘Skin’ Symonds farm next to Tui Brewery and a wetter than normal summer has helped transform his back paddock into a top-notch playing field.
“Compared to last year which was incredibly dry, I’ve only had to irrigate the field once due to the unusual wet weather we’ve had – in fact I’ve been mowing it every second day because the grass is so thick and dense,” says Skin. “However this year’s weather has meant the field is looking great – it’s looking much better than last year.”
As an extra bonus – All Black captain Richie McCaw will oversee the 3pm kick off of the main game. Along with rugby greats Sir Brian Lochore and Sir Colin ‘Pinetree’ Meads, McCaw and the captains of both teams will speak to the 1300 corporate ticket holders after the game.
“This is all about bringing the big show to the small town and showing the rest of the country that heartland rugby is alive, especially in Mangatainoka!” says Mr Rogers. “That is what’s so beautiful about this festive event – its true heartland. Selling out again shows the level of support for our national game in provincial New Zealand.”
Mr Rogers says those lucky enough to have tickets should start thinking of what they are going to dress up as for the day while others now wanting tickets will have to fight for them on Trademe.
- Timeline for February 11th, 2012
12.30pm Gates Open
1.00pm Tui Invitation XV vs Mangatainoka RFC Invitation XV
3.00pm Hurricanes vs Crusaders
5.00pm Close for GA
5.45pm After-match speeches and VIP entertainment
6.45pm Mangatainoka tent village closes for VIP’s