NYC UPDATE: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Penrith

David Fusitua is set to return to the Vodafone Junior Warriors line-up for todays 23rd-round NYC match against the Penrith Panthers at Mount Smart Stadium (1.45pm kick-off NZT). Photo: Photosport


In recent weeks he has spent time building his experience playing for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.


Hell start his 16th NYC appearance of the season in the centres in a game which has a top four spot hanging on it.


After setting the pace earlier in the season, the Panthers have lost their last three games to sit fourth in the competition on 30 points, level with the Vodafone Junior Warriors but ahead of them on points for and against (plus 161 compared to plus 120).


Ahead of the two teams are Canberra (37), Canterbury-Bankstown (33) and the Sydney Roosters (32). The Bulldogs inflicted a massive 62-12 defeat on the Raiders last night.


The Vodafone Junior Warriors are coming off the disappointment of a 36-36 draw with Manly, their second draw of the season. It was a match in which they came back from 22-32 to lead 36-32 with minutes remaining only to concede a late try.


As well as having Fusituas experience in the centres, the Vodafone Junior Warriors are set to have first-choice halfback Mason Lino running on in the halves while last weeks four-try hero Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard will partner Fusitua in the centres.


The last time the Vodafone Junior Warriors met Penrith in the 10th round they eked out a tight 38-32 win. Theyre unbeaten in their last four games.


VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS


Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

1.45pm, Sunday, August 18

Referees: Chris Butler and Chris Sutton


VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS


1NGATAUA HUKATAI

2METIA LISATI

3DAVID FUSITUA

4ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD

5BRAXTON STANLEY

6TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

7MASON LINO

8JAMES TAYLOR

9MICHAEL SIO (c)

10KOUMA SAMSON

11STEDMAN LEFAU

12SIONE FEAO

13SAM COOK

Interchange:

14EKO MALU

15SAM LISONE

16ABRAHAM PAPALII

17TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

18VILIAMI KAVEINGA

20KATAMIRO ATERA

21LAFU FEAGAIGA


HEAD COACH: JOHN ACKLAND