Feleti Mateo comes off the bench to start at loose forward in the Vodafone Warriors’ fifth--round NRL clash against Cronulla at Remondis Stadium (3.05pm kick-off; 5.05pm NZT).
Mateo was ruled out with a knee injury for the match against Wests Tigers last week so stopping his record of playing every match since he’d joined the club in 2011.
Sione Lousi was named at loose forward but, following his suspension on a dangerous throw charge on Thursday night, the vastly experienced Mateo takes over. Moving onto the bench is Sebastine Ikahihifo, who will make his first NRL appearance of the year.
CRONULLA SHARKS v VODAFONE WARRIORS
Remondis Stadium, Cronulla
3.05pm (5.05pm NZT), Saturday, April 05
Referees: Gavin Morris and Gavin Reynolds
FIVE KEY FEATURES
#1 THOMAS LEULUAI | How will his involvement play out today? When he went on last week he gave the Vodafone Warriors five little men on the field at once. He made a really difference with his intensity. This will be his 47th NRL match.
#2 FELETI MATEO | His sequence of consecutive appearances for the Vodafone Warriors ended at 79 when he was forced out of last week’s match in Wellington. He was named on the bench initially but will start in the back row following Sione Lousi’s suspension.
#3 JAYSON BUKUYA AND CHAD TOWNSEND | Both line up against their old club for the first time. They’ve appeared in all four matches so far, Bukuya picking up his first try last week while Townsend has settled in exceptionally well in his playmaking role.
#4 KONRAD HURRELL | He made an exceptional impact coming into the game to replace Jerome Ropati early against the Tigers last week. His stats were highlighted by three try assists, 133 metres from 11 runs and eight tackle breaks.
#5 GLEN FISIIAHI | Can he keep his scoring streak going? Six tries in two games is some run. He has seven in all this season and now has 15 in total in 23 career appearances. Expect to see plenty of ball heading towards the right edge.
1 SAM TOMKINS
2 GLEN FISIIAHI
3 DANE NIELSEN
4 KONRAD HURRELL
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)
16 FELETI MATEO
14 JACOB LILLYMAN
15 SUAIA MATAGI
17 THOMAS LEULUAI
20 SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO
HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT
BETTING – WWW.TAB.CO.NZ
Head to head:
Vodafone Warriors $1.55, Cronulla $2.35
SKY SPORT 2: Live at 5.00pm.