CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS v VODAFONE WARRIORS
Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney
3.00pm, Saturday, June 7
Referee: Jeff Hartup
The Vodafone Warriors will take a starting line-up as selected into their 13th-round encounter with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground today (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
The only change from the squad named earlier in the week is on the bench where NYC-eligible prop Same Lisone has been ruled out with injury.
His place has been taken by former Vodafone Junior Warrior Daniel Palavi, a member of the club’s NYC premiership-winning side in 2010. He comes into the Vodafone Warriors' NSW Cup side for the first time, joining his younger brother John in the side today, John also an NYC premiership winner in 2011. Daniel has previously turned out for the now-defunct Auckland Vulcans.
The Vodafone Warriors will be able to call on a strong quota of NRL experience in the backline with Dane Nielsen and Dominique Peyroux in the centres and Carlos Tuimavave at standoff. They can count more than 150 NRL appearances between them.
The side will be without regular props, though, with Charles P Gubb in Perth with the club’s NRL squad and Nathaniel Peteru out with a knee injury.
Also missing is halfback Tuimoala Lolohea, who has scored 76 points in 11 New South Wales Cup outings this season. He travelled to Perth as well.
Victory today over the Bulldogs, running second to last in the competition with only two wins so far, would give the Vodafone Warriors their second run if four straight wins so far this season. A win could also lift them as high as third place on 19 points depending on the outcome of other matches.
In their previous three games the Vodafone Warriors have beaten Manly (22-18), North Sydney (36-22) and Newcastle (34-12).
FIVE KEY FEATURES
#1 DANE NIELSEN | The former Queensland Origin centre has his third outing for the club’s New South Wales Cup side. His experience will be needed in a line-up missing some of its regulars.
#2 UPU POCHING, ABRAHAM PAPALII, ALBERT VETE AND DANIEL PALAVI | With regulars Charles P Gubb and Nathaniel Peteru unavailable, Poching, Papalii, Vete and Palavi will have to roll their sleeves up more than ever to set the platform for the side .
#3 AGNATIUS PAASI | The versatile Paasi was on 18th man duties for the club’s NRL side against Newcastle. He’s back in the New South Wales Cup mix this week operating in the back row on the left edge.
#4 SOLOMONE KATA | The explosive ex-Sacred Heart College rugby union star has been used in the centres and at hooker at Nines, NYC and NSW Cup level so far this year. Today he lines up on the wing.
#5 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE AND SAM COOK | Tuimavave, a nine-game NRL player, teams up in the halves with former Vodafone Junior Warrior Cook today due to Tuimoala Lolohea being unavailable because he’s in Perth. A big test for the pair.
1 STEVE WAETFORD (c)
2 JARROD TUA
3 DANE NIELSEN
4 DOMINIQUE PEYROUX
5 SOLOMONE KATA
6 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE
7 SAM COOK
8 UPU POCHING
9 MICHAEL SIO
10 ABRAHAM PAPALII
11 AGNATIUS PAASI
12 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER
13 JOHN PALAVI
14 MICHAEL KI
15 DAVID BHANA
20 ALBERT VETE
22 DANIEL PALAVI
COACH: ROHAN SMITH
Radio Coverage courtesy of Triple H FM (link available via www.triplehfm.com.au/hhh)