'Big risk' in Taupo NRL match for organisers

02:03, Apr 03 2011
Warriors vs Eels
DISASTER: Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors sits injured on the field during the round one NRL match between the Warriors and the Parramatta Eels.
Warriors vs Eels
TOUCHDOWN: Jerome Ropati of the Warriors scores a try in the corner during the round one NRL match between the Warriors and the Parramatta Eels at Eden Park.
Warriors vs Eels
CHOP: Feleti Mateo of the Warriors is tackled by Jeff Robson of the Eels.
Warriors vs Eels
GET DOWN: Feleti Mateo of the Warriors tackles Ryan Morgan of the Eels at Eden Park.
Warriors vs Eels
DEJECTED: Warriors captain Simon Mannering (L) stands with his team during the round one NRL defeat to the Eels.
Warriors vs Eels
EYE TO EYE: Lance Hohaia of the Warriors (R) is tackled by Daniel Mortimer of the Eels.
Warriors vs Tigers
LOCKED UP: Matt Utai of the Tigers is tackled during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Warriors at Leichhardt Oval.
Warriors vs Tigers
TOUGH NIGHT: The Warriors look dejected during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Warriors at Leichhardt Oval
Warriors vs Tigers
HANDS ON: Lote Tuqiri of the Tigers is tackled by Joel Moon of the Warriors.
Warriors vs Tigers
CHARGING: Sam Rapira of the Warriors is tackled.
Warriors vs Tigers
OFFLOAD: Joel Moon of the Warriors looks for support during the round two match against the Tigers.
Warriors vs Dragons
EARLY MARKER: Matt Cooper of the Dragons dives over to score as Warrior Kevin Locke looks to stop him at Mt Smart Stadium.
Warriors vs Dragons
MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB: The Warriors look on after Mark Gasnier's opening score.
Warriors vs Dragons
DEEP BREATH: Lewis Brown of the Warriors is hit hard by Ben Creagh of the Dragons.
Warriors vs Dragons
SUPERMAN: Lance Hohaia of the Warriors charges forward during the round three NRL match against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Warriors vs Dragons
TRY TIME: Shaun Berrigan of the Warriors dives over to score during the round three NRL match between against the Dragons at Mt Smart Stadium.
Warriors vs Dragons
VOCALISTS: A Warriors fan at Mt Smart Stadium tries to inspire her team.
Warriors vs Dragons
NEARLY MAN: Krisnan Inu of the Warriors falls short of the tryline during the round three NRL match against the Dragons.
Sharks v Warriors
FLYING FISH: Glenn Fisiiahi crosses the line against the Sharks at Owen Delaney Park in Taupo.
Sharks v Warriors
HAPPY DAYS: A Warriors fan in celebratory mood against the Sharks.
Sharks v Warriors
FIVE-POINTER: James Maloney crosses the line, leaving Shark Nathan Gardner in his wake.
Sharks v Warriors
REACHING OUT: Feleti Mateo breaks the tackle of Ben Pomeroy.
Sharks v Warriors
IN THE ZONE: Lewis Brown looks to make some yardage.
Sharks v Warriors
TIGHT FIT: Feleti Mateo is tackled by Albert Kelly.
Sharks v Warriors
HANG ON: Simon Mannering looks to bring down John Morris.
Roosters v Warriors
Phil Graham of the Roosters is pushed out by James Maloney of the Warriors.
Roosters v Warriors
Jared Waerrea-Hargreaves of the Roosters is hit hard during the round five NRL match against the Warriors.
Roosters v Warriors
Nate Myles of the Roosters is held down by Sam Rapira of the Warriors.
Roosters v Warriors
Simon Mannering of the Warriors celebrates with the team after forcing a knock on during the round five NRL match between the Warriors and the Sydney Roosters.
Roosters v Warriors
Shaun Berrigan of the Warriors dives over to score against the Sydney Roosters.
Manly v Warriors
Daly Cherry-Evans of Manly is tackled during the round six NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors.
Manly v Warriors
Michael Oldfield of Manly is cogratulated by Glenn Stewart after Oldfield scored a try during the round six NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors at Brookvale Oval.
Manly v Warriors
George Rose of Manly is tackled during the round six NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors at Brookvale Oval.
Manly v Warriors
Sea Eagles team mates congratulate Joe Galuvao after he scored a try during the round six NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors at Brookvale Oval.
Manly v Warriors
Lewis Brown of the Warriors is lifted in a tackle during the round six NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Warriors at Brookvale Oval.
Warriors gallery 1
Warriors prop Russell Packer runs into hirsuite Melbourne Storm opposite Kevin Proctor among others.
Warriors gallery 2
Melbourne Storm prop Kevin Proctor braces for a crunch from Warriors opposite Sam Rapira.
Warriors gallery 3
Warriors halfback James Maloney escapes the clutches of a host of Melbourne Storm defenders.
Warriors gallery 4
Warriors centre Simon Mannering grabs the jersey Melbourne Storm captain counterpart Cameron Smith.
Warriors gallery 5
The Warriors players celebrate with the Michael Moore Trophy, contested for in annual matches against the Melbourne Storm.
Warriors v Penrith
Warriors' Brett Seymour is held up by Panthers' Nigel Plum and Kevin Kingston.
Warriors v Penrith
Warriors' James Maloney is taken by Panthers' Trent Waterhouse and Nigel Plum.
Warriors v Penrith
Lance Hohaia scores for the Warriors against the Panthers.
Warriors v Penrith
Krisnan Inu of the Warriors catches the bomb and scores against the Panthers.
Warriors v Penrith
Lance Hohaia of the Warriors looks to break from the tackle against the Panthers.
Warriors v Penrith
Feleti Mateo of the Warriors breaks out of Nigel Plum's tackle.
Warriors shock Titans
Feleti Mateo is tackled by Ben Ridge, during the Warriors' 34-14 victory at Skilled Park.
Warriors shock Titans
Elijah Taylor fends off the attentions of William Zillman.
Warriors shock Titans
Kevin Locke, Brett Seymour, James Maloney and Jacob Lillyman celebrate another try during their 34-14 rout of the Gold Coast Titans.
Warriors shock Titans
Manu Vatuvei is hauled down as he tries to make ground for the Warriors.
Warriors shock Titans
Kevin Locke offloads in the tackle.
Warriors shock Titans
Two-try hero James Maloney enjoys the applause from the Warriors fans at Skilled Park.
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors prop Russell Packer on the charge against the Rabbitohs.
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors hooker Feleri Mateo is tackled by Rabbitohs lock Michael Crocker.
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors wing Krisnan Inu scores against the Rabbitohs.
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors' Brett Seymour scores against the Rabbitohs.
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors wing Krisnan Inu makes a break for a disallowed try against the Rabbitohs.
Warriors v Tigers
Elijah Taylor of the Warriors, in their game against the Wests Tigers.
Warriors v Tigers
Warriors wing Manu Vatuvie tackled by Tigers player Beau Ryan.
Warriors v Tigers
Warriors second row Elijah Taylor is tackled by Tigers five eighth Benji Marshall, centre, and Tim Samona, left.
Warriors
Kevin Locke of the Warriors looks on after the Cowboys scored a try during the round 15 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Warriors at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Warriors
Manu Vatuvei, left, of the Warriors looks on during the round 15 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Warriors at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Warriors
Kevin Locke of the Warriors jumps up to a catch the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Warriors at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Warriors v Storm
Warriors second rower Feleti Mateo is tackled by Storm centre Maurice Blair.
Warriors v Storm
Warriors hooker Aaron Heremaia tackles Storm prop Jesse Bromwich with help from Warriors prop Russell Packer.
Warriors v Storm
Warriors second row Feleti Mateo with Adam Blair, left and Cooper Cronk, right
Warriors v Storm
Warriors centre Shaun Berrigan on the charge against the Storm.
Warriors v Storm
Warriors second rower Feleti Mateo is tackled by Storm centre Maurice Blair.
Warriors v Storm
Alihana Mara, Lance Hohaia and Elijah Taylor of the Warriors sit dejected after losing the round 16 NRL match to the Melbourne Storm.
Warriors v Storm
Billy Slater of the Storm collects the ball to score against the Warriors.
Warriors v Storm
Todd Lowrie of the Storm is brought down.
Warriors v Titans
Warriors players celecrate a try against the Titans.
Russell Packer
Warriors prop Russell Packer runs into the shoulder of Titans opposite Luke Bailey.
Ben Matulino
Warriors reserve second-rower Ben Matulino runs the ball at three Gold Coast defenders.
Manu Vatuvei
Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei (No 5) gets in the face of Titans' Matt White after scoring.
Warriors defence
Titan Brenton Lawrence is swamped by Warriors defenders Russell Packer, Elijah Taylor & Aaron Heremaia.
Clinton Toopi
Former Warrior Clinton Toopi is taken in a tackle.
Micheal Luck and Simon Mannering
Micheal Luck rushes in to congratulate skipper Simon Mannering on his second half try.
Warriors v Bulldogs
Warriors prop Russell Packer is tackled by Bulldogs prop Aiden Tolman.
Warriors v Bulldogs
Warriors forward Elijah Taylor scores against the Bulldogs.
Warriors v Bulldogs
Warriors second-rower Simon Mannering is dragged down by Bulldogs second rower Frank Pritchard.
Warriors v Bulldogs
Warriors hooker Aaron Heremaia gets his pass away against the Bulldogs.
Warriors gallery
Kevin Locke makes a break for the Warriors during their 48-16 romp over the Rabbitohs.
Warriors gallery
Manu Vatuvei dots down for one of his hat-trick of tries at ANZ Stadium.
Warriors gallery
It was a dream day for Pita Godinit, who came off the bench for the Warriors and scored a last-minute try.
Warriors gallery
Russell Packer shows his physical power as he charges through the Rabbitohs defence.
Warriors gallery
Feleti Mateo deals to a Rabbit as he makes valuable yardage for the Warriors.
Warriors gallery
The Rabbitohs do everything they can to try and stop Ben Matulino.
Warriors gallery
A determined Manu Vatuvei epitomises the commitment of the Warriors, who destroyed the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
Warriors gallery
Manu Vatuvei celebrates the Warriors' first try in their 29-10 victory over the Raiders at Mt Smart.
Warriors gallery
James Maloney looks to slice through the Raiders - he went on to score a try later in the game.
Warriors gallery
Feleti Mateo doesn't allow the attentions of Bronson Harrison to stop him from offloading.
Warriors gallery
The Westac Rescue Helicopter picked up an early casualty, in the heat of the Warriors v Raiders pre-match build-up.
Warriors gallery
Shaun Berrigan scores the Warriors' second five-pointer of the game, with the Auckland franchise running in six tries in total against the Raiders.
Warriors gallery
Bill Tupou uses some fancy footwork to negotiate his way past Jarrod Crocker.
Warriors gallery
The Raiders' Daniel Vidot is wrapped up by Shaun Berrigan (left) and Simon Mannering.
Broncos v Warriors
The ever-powerful Manu Vatuvei looks to break free from the Broncos' defence, during the Warriors' valiant defeat at Suncorp Stadium.
Broncos v Warriors
Sam rapira manages to release the ball despite being double-teamed.
Broncos v Warriors
Devastated Warriors lay prone on the turf after Peter Wallace secures victory for the Broncos.
Broncos v Warriors
James Maloney leads the race - and was an outstanding performer against the high-flying Broncos.
Broncos v Warriors
Justin Hodges of the Broncos shows his athleticism, crossing for a crucial try.
Broncos v Warriors
The Warriors congratulate Shaun Johnson after he scores one of the tries of the season.
Warriors gallery
Warrior Sam Rapira is tackled by Antonio Kaufusi of the Knights during the 20-12 victory for the Auckland franchise.
Warriors gallery
Feleti Mateo crosses the line for the final Warriors' four-pointer at Mt Smart stadium against the Knights.
Warriors gallery
Tafega Junior Sa'u of the Knights prepares to take on the speed and power of Warrior Ukuma Ta'ai.
Warriors gallery
Star speedster Kevin Locke evades the tackle of experienced Knights campaigner Kurt Gidley.
Warriors gallery
James Maloney, who has been key to the Warrriors' success this season, looks to make a break against the Knights.
Warriors gallery
Manu 'The Beast' Vatuvei looks to avoid a Knights double team.
Warriors gallery
Warriors captain Simon Mannering's crucial touchdown against the Knights at Mt Smart.
warriros v dragons
Brett Morris gets past Bill Tupou to score.
warriros v dragons
Brett Morris gets airborne in the process of scoring a try against the Warriors.
warriros v dragons
Krisnan Inu scores in the corner against the Dragons.
warriros v dragons
NZ Warriors lock Michael Luck puts Dragons fullback Darius Boyd on his back.
warriros v dragons
Brett Morris tip toes along sideline.
warriros v dragons
Ready to land: Brett Morris about to score.
warriros v dragons
Simon Mannering appeals for a penalty.
warriros v dragons
Kevin Locke starts dancing through the Dragons' defence.
warriros v dragons
Krisnan Inu gets hit in a tackle.
Warriors in action
Feleti Mateo of the Warriors celebrates Krisnan Inu's try against the Cowboys.
Warriors in action
Simon Mannering of the Warriors looks to offload against the Cowboys.
Warriors in action
Lance Hohaia of the Warriors dives over to score a try against the Cowboys.
Warriors in action
Krisnan Inu of the Warriors celebrates after scoring a try against the Cowboys.
Warriors in action
Krisnan Inu of the Warriors competes with Ashley Graham of the Cowboys in the air.
Warriors in action
Warriors stand-off James Maloney looks to fend Cowboys prop Matthew Scott.
Warriors v Broncos
Simon Mannering of the Warriors hits the Broncos' defence.
Warriors v Broncos
Corey Parker of the Broncos looks to pass.
Warriors v Broncos
Dale Copley of the Broncos takes on the defence.
Warriors v Broncos
Simon Mannering of the Warriors takes on the defence.
Warriors v Broncos
Kevin Locke of the Warriors attempts to break through.
Warriors v Broncos
Darren Lockyer of the Broncos is tackled hard by the Warriors' James Maloney.
Manu Vatuvei
Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei attempts to off-load.
James Maloney and Ukuma Ta'ai
Warriors James Maloney and Ukuma Ta'ai put a big hit on Brisbane's Ashley Glenn.
Warriors
The stunned Warriors look on after another Brisbane Broncos try.
Warriors
Chris Heighington of the Tigers is tackled against the Warriors at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Ben Matulino of the Warriors makes a break against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Krisnan Inu of the Warriors scores the match winning try in the final minutes against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Feleti Mateo of the Warriors scores a try against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Shaun Johnson and Feleti Mateo of the Warriors celebrates after winnning the NRL first sem final match against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Feleti Mateo of the Warriors celebrates victory with teammates at fulltime against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Feleti Mateo of the Warriors celebrates victory with teammates at fulltime against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Lance Hohaia of the Warriors scores during the NRL first semifinal match against the Wests Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Keith Galloway of the Tigers scores during the NRL first semifinal match against the New Zealand Warriors at Sydney Football Stadium.
Warriors
Benji Marshall of the Tigers celebrates scoring a try against the New Zealand Warriors at Sydney Football Stadium.
Sika Manu is congratulated by teammate Cameron Smith after scoring a try for the Melbourne Storm.
Sika Manu is congratulated by teammate Cameron Smith after scoring a try for the Melbourne Storm.
Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei takes on the Melbourne defence.
Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei takes on the Melbourne defence.
Warriors centre Krisnan Inu beats Melbourne's Anthony Quinn to claim a high ball.
Warriors centre Krisnan Inu beats Melbourne's Anthony Quinn to claim a high ball.
Krisnan Inu (L) and James Maloney celebrate a Warriors try.
Krisnan Inu (L) and James Maloney celebrate a Warriors try.
Lewis Brown
Centre Lewis Brown pumps his fists after his 77th minute try sealed the Warriors a place in the NRL grand final.
Warriors players celebrate
Warriors players celebrate after the final siren at AAMI Park, having upset the Melbourne Storm.

An All Black, a league legend and a music promoter who worked with Mariah Carey admit they've taken a "big risk" in bringing the NRL to tiny Taupo this afternoon.

KickIt Events, a collaboration between former Cronulla Sharks fullback David Peachey, local events promoter Roxi Douglas and consultant Frano Botica, is underwriting today's game between the Sharks and the Warriors at Owen Delany Park.

Peachey has spent the past six months living in Taupo, his wife Ora's home town, having relocated at the request of Sharks chairman Damien Irvine. He's spent the time since organising today's game and playing club league for the Taupo Phoenix.

Yesterday, Peachey was driving nervously around town finalising arrangements, while Botica was on the golf course at Wairakei, hosting the last promotional activity.

"The Sharks went to Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, but they liked the feel of what Taupo offered," Peachey says. "When the chairman came over, he liked the town and we went from there – and here we are, hours away from an NRL game in Taupo. It's never been done in a rural area before, it hasn't even been done in a rural area in New South Wales or Queensland. But the community have made them feel at home."

The deal to take the fixture to Taupo is for three years, with options to extend that by up to another six. "It is quite a risk," admits Peachey. "It has been six months of my life, to pack up the family and make it successful, but I bled for that club and it's a little way for me to put something back."

With the Sharks winning their last two games, what initially seemed a sensible business decision is weighing on Peachey's mind and he admits he'll feel guilty if their run ends tomorrow. But while he can't control the result, he says Taupo is ready for the big show. "We're more than happy. But we'll know at 4.30pm if we've done a good enough job."

Douglas said pre-sales stood at more than 5000 by 1pm yesterday, and after consulting near-neighbours Rotorua, who have hosted several major league games in recent years, is expecting at least 8600 to turn up; Peachey hopes for 12,000. "And we're praying for sun," said Douglas.

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