Warriors' Simon Mannering reacts. Round two Telstra Premiership NRL match, Vodafone Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 15th March 2014. Photo: photosport.co.nz

NRL PREVIEW | Mannering's record

Simon Mannering’s record 92nd appearance as Vodafone Warriors captain sets off today’s fourth-round NRL clash against Wests Tigers at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

 

In front of an anticipated crowd of more than 20,000, Mannering (27) will also be playing his 192nd game overall as the Vodafone Warriors strive to back up last Saturday night’s courageous 20-16 win over North Queensland with their second success of the season.

 

While Mannering has been troubled by a virus this week he will lead a side showing no late changes from the one named on Tuesday.

 

The Tigers have one change with Chris Lawrence returning from a hamstring injury to replace Tim Simona, one of a clutch of New Zealand-born players in the line-up.

 

As well as Mannering’s milestone, centre Dane Nielsen today plays his 100th NRL match.

 

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

5.05pm, Saturday, March 29

Referees: Matt Cecchin and Brett Suttor

 

 

FIVE KEY FEATURES

 

#1 SIMON MANNERING | Captain Simon Mannering is back in what was briefly ‘home’ for him some 10 years ago. He equalled Steve Price’s club record of 91 appearances as captain in last week’s win against North Queensland. He excelled in the win, making 118 metres and 24 tackles.

 

#2 THOMAS LEULUAI | The man who played every minute of the Vodafone Warriors’ 24 games last year returns for his first outing in 2014 after a long recovery from a groin injury. He will have a critical influence whether he is used in the halves or at hooker.

 

#3 DANE NIELSEN | While he made his debut with Cronulla in 2007, ‘Danger’ has had to wait for his 100th NRL appearance but finally it arrives today after a career which has featured premiership success with Melbourne as well as State of Origin appearances.

 

#4 BEN MATULINO | It’s another big night in the Capital for Lower Hutt-born and raised Matulino. He doesn’t have many chances to play in front of family and friends so this is extra special. Had a limited role in last week’s win against the Cowboys due to a head wound.

 

#5 SAM RAPIRA | He’s relishing the opportunity to play alongside his captain. These two players have been part of the furniture over the last decade. Rapira was in vintage form against the Cowboys, making 173 metres from 17 runs and adding 24 tackles.

 

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

 

1 SAM TOMKINS

2 GLEN FISIIAHI

3 DANE NIELSEN

4 JEROME ROPATI

5 MANU VATUVEI

6 CHAD TOWNSEND

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

8 SAM RAPIRA

9 NATHAN FRIEND

10 BEN MATULINO

11 JAYSON BUKUYA

12 SIMON MANNERING (c)

13 SIONE LOUSI

Interchange:

14 JACOB LILLYMAN

15 SUAIA MATAGI

16 KONRAD HURRELL

17 THOMAS LEULUAI

 

HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT

 

 

WESTS TIGERS

 

1 JAMES TEDESCO

2 DAVID NOFOALUMA

3 KEITH LULIA

19 CHRIS LAWRENCE

5 PAT RICHARDS

6 BRAITH ANASTA

7 LUKE BROOKS

8 AARON WOODS

9 ROBBIE FARAH (c)

10 KEITH GALLOWAY

18 CORY PATERSON

12 BODENE THOMPSON

13 ADAM BLAIR

Interchange:

14 MARTIN TAUPAU

15 AVA SEUMANUFAGAI

16 SAUASO SUE

17 JAMES GAVET

 

COACH: MICK POTTER

 

 

 

BETTING – WWW.TAB.CO.NZ

 

FIND ODDS FOR VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS

 

https://www.tab.co.nz/sport/#game/134422/1/warriors-v-wests-tigers

 

Head to head:

Vodafone Warriors $1.55, Wests Tigers $2.35

 

 

TV COVERAGE

 

SKY SPORT 2: Live at 5.00pm.