The Vodafone Junior Warriors will again use a younger combination for their 19th-round NYC encounter with Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney on Friday night (kick-off 5.30 local time; 7.30 NZT).
Appointed captain David Bhana, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Albert Vete and David Fusitua are all on New South Wales Cup duty this week after returning to play NYC football in the clubs last outing against South Sydney on July 6.
While theyll be missing, though, the Vodafone Junior Warriors welcome back Ngataua Hukatai from injury. He has been named to start in the centres in what will be his 11th game this year and his 35th NYC appearance in all (he scored 11 tries in 24 matches in 2012).
The Vodafone Junior Warriors go into Friday nights contest still holding fourth spot on 23 points with the Tigers just one point behind in sixth place.
In the corresponding match at Leichhardt Oval last year the Vodafone Junior Warriors had a forgettable night when they slumped to a 12-54 defeat. Of the team used that night just five players remain to line up again this time Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Hukatai, Sione Feao, Eko Malu and Michael Sio illustrating the fluid nature of the competition.
Of the others Ngani Laumape and Carlos Tuimavave have since played for the Vodafone Warriors at NRL level as have Peta Hiku and Ligi Sao for Manly while Siliva Havili, John Palavi, Bhana, Fusitua and Vete have turned out for the Vulcans in the NSW Cup and Toka Likiliki has done likewise for Newcastle.
With centre Solomone Kata still out injured, standoff Tuimoala Lolohea will have the goal-kicking duties once more. Lolohea has scored 32 points in the Vodafone Junior Warriors last two matches lifting his tally for the season to 72, one behind injured halfback Mason Lino and 16 behind Kata; the Kelston Boys High School pupil is the teams leading try-scorer with 13 in 16 appearances.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
5.30pm, Friday, July 19
Referee: Matt Noyen
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
9MICHAEL SIO (c)
22 KOUMA SAMSON
23 KEN MAUMALO
HEAD COACH: JOHN ACKLAND