Crusaders and Hurricanes to benefit from Mangatainoka
The Hurricanes will again return to Mangatainoka for a pre-season Investec Super Rugby clash, this time against the Crusaders, who will gain something from their trip to the Wairarapa Bush as well.
The Crusaders will make the trip to the ground in 2012 for the popular fixture, engineered by the local Tui brewery, and the temporary grandstands that turn a 2,000 odd township into an 8,000 seat mini stadium, will actually be shipped to Christchurch after the game.
The 6,000 seat section will become part of the Crusaders new home ground, in their temporary home that replaces AMI Stadium for the 2012 season.
Tui Brewery commercial manager Nick Rogers said to the Dominion Post that another chapter was continuing in the proud history of the “Battle near the Brewery”.
The game will be held on February 11, with kick off planned for 3pm, and Rogers said that the mixed local weather would turn out a show alongside some rugby stars.
"The weather's going to be superb, as it always is in Mangatainoka,” although it poured rain when the Blues won 19-17 two years ago.
"It's exciting having two fantastic franchises but also with so much local talent potentially on offer – you've got Zac Guildford from Wairarapa, Israel Dagg from Hawke's Bay and four Whitelocks from Feilding."
Rogers said it was important to capture the same atmosphere seen at the Rugby World Cup, with the event now a central part of the local calendar.
"That's the essence of what we want to capture with the game at Mangatainoka – the theatre of going to the game as much as the game itself,” he said.
"Again, it's bringing the big show back to the small town. The ground is but a paddock but that's what is so beautiful about the event, it's about bringing the professionals to 'Toki with another game that's sure to go down in grassroots rugby folklore."