NYC FINALS: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Rabbitohs

Captain David Bhana is one of five experienced players returning for the Vodafone Junior Warriors' NYC elimination final against South Sydney on Friday night. Photo: Photosport


Five of the Vodafone Junior Warriors most experienced players return to the side for Friday nights NYC elimination final against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium (5.15pm kick-off local time; 7.15pm NZT).


Captain David Bhana and second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner come back into the line-up after last playing NYC football on July 6, coincidentally against Souths when the Vodafone Junior Warriors loss 38-40.


Since then Bhana and Faitala-Mariner have both been developing their games as regulars for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup competition.


Also back in the NYC frame this week after being promoted to the Vulcans is prop Albert Vete. He made the jump up with Bhana and Faitala-Mariner but had one game back in the NYC against Gold Coast two weeks ago.


The other two experienced NYC players boosting the side for the South Sydney clash are fullback David Fusitua and centre Ngataua Hukatai, who are returning from injury. Fusitua is another player who has had a taste of NSW Cup football this season.


Between them the quintet boasts a total of more than 160 NYC games giving the Vodafone Junior Warriors a significant injection of experience as they head into the clubs sixth consecutive NYC finals series (the only club to achieve such a run since the competition began in 2008).


Bhana, named in the 2013 NYC Team of the Year, appeared in just 14 of a possible 24 regular season games yet hes still the teams top defender with 590 tackles (an average of 42 tackles game) while Vete remains in the top four for most total metres gained, most average metres per game, most total runs and most average runs per game.


Standoff Tuimoala Lolohea is both the teams leading try scorer with 17 and points scorer with 114. Hes also one of only three players to appear in each of the Vodafone Junior Warriors 24 games so far, the others being hooker Michael Sio and interchange prop Sam Lisone.


While South Sydney won the most recent encounter between the two sides, the Vodafone Junior Warriors triumphed 46-14 when they met in Auckland in April.


VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS


ANZ Stadium, Homebush

5.15pm, Friday, September 13

Referees: David Munro and Matt Noyen


VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS


1DAVID FUSITUA

2METIA LISATI

3ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD

4NGATAUA HUKATAI

5LAFU FEAGAIGA

6TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

7MASON LINO

8ALBERT VETE

9MICHAEL SIO

10JAMES TAYLOR

11RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER

12STEDMAN LEFAU

13DAVID BHANA (c)

Interchange:

14EKO MALU

15SAM LISONE

16KOUMA SAMSON

17KATAMIRO ATERA


HEAD COACH: JOHN ACKLAND