Weighing up whether to go to league's international triple-header today at Mt Smart or the Battle of the Bridge tomorrow at Eden Park?

Forget about the variety of weather forecasts, transport to the ground, the option of watching it from the comfort of your lounge and all the other bits and pieces which go into making this choice.

Bottom-line for this decision is clear-cut - it's all about value for money. And the winner is - the league at Mt Smart.


Kickoff for the Junior Kiwis is mid-afternoon before the Kiwi Ferns play, then the Kiwis in the headline evening match, with $35 covering the adult cost for watching all three games.

Your mate has held on to his cash and plans to fork out $27.50 which gets him into Eden Park tomorrow for one game as the resurgent Auckland side hosts mid-table North Harbour in the provincial championship. One game in the concrete jungle against three today in a lively suburban setting - it's a simple answer.

Noises about crowd numbers suggest the pull of live action at both venues is not a massive inducement for either code as sports fans assess their options. Hardcore followers follow one rule. Unless they're laid up they always trek out to watch live sport while others are more fickle about their decisions.

We've paid our television subscription so let's settle for that this time and make our move for a mega-occasion when Tonga and the Aussies play next weekend and when the finals of the rugby come around.

Makes sense? It seems to as does another idea being floated that a business group want to build a waterfront stadium in Auckland in exchange for rights to redevelop Eden Park.

What's not to like about a modern venue which caters for the needs of rugby, league and other codes while also offering spectators a world-class arena near transport hubs and entertainment precincts? Not much, according to the reaction of the Eden Park Trust Board chairman.

That makes as much sense as the decision to let the Aussies play two league tests at Mt Smart while the Kiwis are only involved in this evening's duel where a strong performance from them is as critical as the resurgent work this season of the Warriors.

New coach Michael Maguire began the remedial work against England in Denver and has taken his time to assess his best combinations from those with experience and others whose form held up through the NRL playoffs. He's picked a bright new captain with a core of experienced forwards and needs a lift from halfback Shaun Johnson to bring the pieces together.


When the Warriors began to play strongly on a regular basis, tickets to Mt Smart were a hot item and that's the message the Kiwis need to deliver to reconnect with their fans and give their administrators some ammunition when they come to settle on the international fixture list.