A fourth straight win beckons for the Vodafone Warriors when they take on the Newtown Jets in today’s eighth-round New South Wales Cup clash at Henson Park in Sydney (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Since picking up the club’s first-ever win in the competition, the Vodafone Warriors have put together a run of three wins over Cronulla (44-6), Canterbury-Bankstown (18-14) and Illawarra (35-28) to sit sixth on the table on nine points, only one point behind a group of five teams all on 10 points.
Today’s opponents the Jets are in 10th place with only one win so far; they were pumped 46-10 by Cronulla last week.
Despite the relative merits of both sides on form, the game has the potential to be a banana skin for the Vodafone Warriors.
They won’t be able to call on the experience and ability of Feleti Mateo, Konrad Hurrell and Chad Townsend, who all played for the club’s NRL side against the Storm last night. On the other hand they have two players back after tasting NRL football recently in Charlie Gubb and Dominique Peyroux and the aggressive Sione Lousi returns from suspension.
Featuring for the Jets are the likes of Heath l’Estrange, Kane Evans and Arana Taumata plus former Vodafone Warrior Sio Siua Taukeiaho and NRL squad member Saulala Houma.
NEWTOWN JETS v VODAFONE WARRIORS
Henson Park, Sydney
3.00pm (local time), Saturday, April 26
Referee: Liam Nicholls
FIVE KEY FEATURES
#1 MOMENTUM | The Vodafone Warriors have gathered momentum over the past month by picking off the Sharks, the Bulldogs and the Cutters but they need to lift again against an under-performing opponent to secure another win.
#2 ROHAN SMITH | He has been forced to live with the ‘son of’ (his father is long-time NRL coach Brian Smith) but the younger Smith is making his own way now by bringing the club’s New South Wales Cup squad together.
#3 DOMINIQUE PEYROUX | After playing up in the NRL against the Bulldogs and the Dragons, Peyroux is back in the centres for the New South Wales Cup side, a role he filled superbly in his last outing for the side against Cronulla.
#4 CHARLES P GUBB | Like Peyroux, Gubb finds himself back in the New South Wales Cup after two NRL outings including his first on home soil. He brings real solidity in all he does; the Vodafone Warriors will need those qualities today.
#5 SIONE LOUSI | No one will be keener to rip in that back rower Sione Lousi who is back in the fray after serving a three-match suspension. He’ll be doing all he can to push his claims for a return to the NRL squad as soon as possible.
1 KEVIN LOCKE
2 BRAXTON STANLEY
12 DOMINIQUE PEYROUX
24 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE
5 JARROD TUA
6 STEVE WAETFORD (c)
7 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA
8 NATHANIEL PETERU
9 MICHAEL SIO
10 CHARLIE GUBB
11 JOHN PALAVI
23 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER
13 SIONE LOUSI
14 SAM LOUSI
15 AGNATIUS PAASI
16 UPU POCHING
17 DAVID BHANA
COACH: ROHAN SMITH