The Vodafone Warriors have the chance today to climb into the NRLs top eight for the first time this season. Photo: Photosport


Victory over Cronulla in their 21st-round NRL clash at Mount Smart Stadium would lift them above eighth-placed Newcastle.


The Knights drew 18-18 with Brisbane last night to move to 23 points, one ahead of the Vodafone Warriors.


The Vodafone Warriors go into the match with an impressive record of seven wins in their last eight matches in the competition, surging to the edge of the top eight after being at the bottom of the ladder in May.


Cronulla, sixth on the table with 24 points, beat the Vodafone Warriors 28-4 the last time they met in the third round this year. Theyve won each of the last three games between the two clubs, handing the Vodafone Warriors one of their worst defeats (45-4) almost a year ago to the day at Mount Smart Stadium.


The Vodafone Warriors will field exactly the same combination used in last Sundays pulsating 30-22 victory against defending premiers the Melbourne Storm. As usual, theres a swap in the front row with Jacob Lillyman starting and Ben Matulino going to the bench.


Jerome Ropati, who again played for the Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup today, is the 18th man.


VODAFONE WARRIORS v CRONULLA


Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

5.00pm, Saturday, August 03

Referees: Matt Cecchin and Gavin Reynolds


VODAFONE WARRIORS


1KEVIN LOCKE

2NGANI LAUMAPE

3DANE NIELSEN

4KONRAD HURRELL

5MANU VATUVEI

6THOMAS LEULUAI

7SHAUN JOHNSON

8SAM RAPIRA

9NATHAN FRIEND

15JACOB LILLYMAN

11FELETI MATEO

12SIMON MANNERING (c)

13ELIJAH TAYLOR

Interchange:

14SUAIA MATAGI

10BEN MATULINO

16TODD LOWRIE

17DOMINIQUE PEYROUX


HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT