The Gold Coast Titans were surprised and impressed by the warm welcome the received in Stanmore Bay on Wednesday.
Flashing lights, booming music and a smoke machine formed the backdrop as they were treated to a rock star's welcome during a visit to the Hibiscus Coast Raiders Rugby League club ahead of the this weekends Auckland Nines.
The Titans were introduced on stage in front of hundreds of excited locals before being given a traditional welcome dance from the next generation.
For new Titans recruit Kalifa FaiFai Loa, the visit brought back memories of his junior days in New Zealand playing against the Raiders for the Marist Saints.
The winger will get his first taste of Nines football this weekend after being named to make his official debut for the Titans in the inaugural tournament.
As a token of the junior club's appreciation for the visit, Titans Co-Captain Greg Bird was presented with a traditional Maori war club symbolising strength and unity.
- Rodney Times
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