Feleti Mateo ... back in the Vodafone Warriors' starting line-up to face Cronulla today. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

NRL PREVIEW | Mateo to start

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.

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

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

Interchange:

14 JACOB LILLYMAN

15 SUAIA MATAGI

17 THOMAS LEULUAI

20 SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO

HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT

 

 

BETTING – WWW.TAB.CO.NZ

FIND ODDS FOR VODAFONE WARRIORS v CRONULLA SHARKS

Head to head:

Vodafone Warriors $1.55, Cronulla $2.35

 

TV COVERAGE

SKY SPORT 2: Live at 5.00pm.