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It would be fair to describe 2003 as a year that got away from the Warriors. The team finished the round robin section of the season in the top 8, 6th in fact. The Warriors went within one game of back to back grand finals, losing to eventual champions the Penrith Panthers. Media interest in the countries top club side was high with requests for interviews with the players in high demand. Further whetting the appetite of both the media and the public for the 2003 was the signing of All Black halfback Mark Robinson. Mark would only play one NRL match for the NRL side outside of a pre season trial match against the Shark at North Harbour Stadium. His NRL game came at Westpac stadium against the Canterbury Bulldogs and he stated on Sky TV after the match that this NRL game was the hardest and fastest game of rugby he had ever played. Mark played at hooker.

The first week of the finals were to be remembered fondly by Warriors fans the lenght and breadth of New Zealand and fans on both sides of the Tasman. The Warriors went into week one of finals against the highly fancied Canterbury Bulldogs. By the end of the 80 minutes the Warriors had blown the Bulldogs off the Sydney Show Grounds to the tune of 48 - 22 and Francis Meli had set both a club and NRL record with 5 tries in a finals series match. Sadly for the club and it's fans just two weeks later it would loss to the evenual champions, the Penrith Panthers by 8 points. Off the field the club returned a profit for the second season in a row, a titanic turn around for a club drowning in debt just 3 years previous. The Warriors lost a number of high profiles by the end of the 2003 season. None more so than retiring fullback Ivan Cleary. But we hadn't seen the last Ivan Cleary at the Warriors. Influential forwards leader Kevin Campion also moved on at seasons end to the North Queensland Cowboys along with utility David Myles. Burgeoning talent Shontane Hape looked to take the bigger money on offer in the ESL and igned with the Bradford Bulls. Regrettably Shontane would see his natural ball handling talents wasted when he signed with the English rugby union and not only turned his back on his sport but on his country when he turned out for the red rose of England. Mark Robinson returned to rugby union also after his one game for the club. Again players not needed for first grade duty or needing match fitness were farmed out to the various Bartercard cup teams with no deals in place with minor Australian clubs.

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