New Zealand is a nation that goes gaga for rugby – all kinds of it. Rugby league nines (or simply nines) is a madcap version with nine players on each side. The games are shorter with a few different rules, and tournaments are held over one or two days. It makes for more exciting viewing with faster action and wider gaps on the field.
The Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines is a two day knock out extravaganza and one of New Zealand’s biggest summer sporting events. Watch all 16 NRL clubs and 288 star players competing over a single weekend for a share of more than $2.6 million dollars in prize money. There will be 31 action packed games played and around 100,000 fans in total are expected over the weekend.
The NRL Nines will be played at Auckland’s premiere sporting grounds, Eden Park, which boasts 46,000 capacity. Expect a pumping carnival atmosphere and most likely some attendees in dress up costumes.
Gates open at 11.30am on January 31 with kickoff at 12.30pm and 10am on February 1 with the first game at 11.10am. All tickets are sold as a two day pass (there are no single day tickets) and you will only get one physical ticket for entry on both days. Seats are allocated but you will be able to walk around Eden Park during the tournament.
All NRL Auckland Nines ticket holders are also entitled to free public transport to and fromEden Park for the event.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Auckland when visiting for the NRL Nines 2015, with your Auckland Airport car rental, there are a couple of options close to Eden Park itself – theEden Park Motel, Eden Park, Bed and Breakfast, Bond St Motor Lodge – as well as places to eat and drink, such as the Kingslander and Mac’s Neighbourhood bar, or the excellentCanton Cafe, Petra Shawarma, Little India, Ivy and Taiko. However you may prefer to stay in the city centre to make the most of your time in Auckland. Eden Park is easily accessible from the city, heading down the main arterial routes of either New North Rd or Dominion Rd.