Hoffman's homecoming milestone
It's not often the home crowd grants a standing ovation to an opposition player, but this was a milestone game with a difference.
Ryan Hoffman played his 250th NRL game on Monday in front of 18,179 fans at AAMI Park, many of whome had cheered him on for all but five of those matches.
It was a milestone Hoffman will not remember fondly for the result but more for the people he got the chance to share it with.
"Everyone was great… to play in front of fans that were my home fans for 11 years was a great thing for my milestone," Hoffman told NRL.com.
"I'm still going to have a very soft spot for Melbourne, that was a massive part of my life and I suppose it was a bit strange before and after the game."
After the game Hoffman was handed the match ball by former captain and great mate Cameron Smith as a large portion of the home crowd stayed back to give one of their favourite son's a standing ovation.
While the 31-year-old was left genuinely touched by his welcome back to AAMI Park, the loss was one met with missed opportunities by the Warriors.
Hoffman was kept largely in check by his former side, finishing the game with 64 metres and 25 tackles as his side went down 30-14.
Walking out of the ground from which he once tasted many-a-victory, this defeat had a much different and yet frustrating taste to it.
"It was a game for us to win and in the end it came down to simple errors," Hoffman said.
"We got ourselves back in the game with some great arm wrestle but we just shot ourselves in the foot with poor errors."
New Zealand slumped to 2-3 for the season and now sit in 11th spot heading into Round 6.
They have just five days to recover before hosting Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium next Saturday.