Abraham Papalii of the Warriors. New Zealand Warriors v Wyong Roos. NSW Cup rugby league match at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 21 June 2014. Photo: Jason Oxenham/Photosport.co.nz

VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

11.45am, Sunday, June 29

Referee: Shane Rehm

 

Sam Cook and Abraham Papalii have been brought into the Vodafone Warriors’ side for today’s 16th-round New South Wales encounter with the Penrith Panthers at Mount Smart Stadium (11.45am kick-off).

Cook will start in the centres, replacing Dominique Peyroux who will fill the 18th man’s role for the club’s NRL side.

And Papalii comes into the second row for NYC-eligible Michael Ki, who has been in the New South Wales Cup side for its last six matches.

The Vodafone Warriors go into the match seeking to rebound from last week’s hard-fought 8-12 loss to Wyong but they face the competition’s top side in Penrith.

 

FIVE KEY FEATURES

#1 JOHN PALAVI | Rock-like in the middle for the Vodafone Warriors, Palavi was missing last week filling the NRL side’s 18th man role. The two-game NRL player is back to face Penrith in his 12th NSW Cup match this season.

#2 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER | A right edge specialist, the big second rower has missed only one of the team’s 15 matches so far this season. In last week’s loss to Wyong, he was the Vodafone Warriors’ top tackler with 43.

#3 JARROD TUA | With Dane Nielsen back with the NRL side this week, Tua returns to NSW Cup football on the wing. In nine previous matches this season he has scored six tries including a hat-trick against Newcastle on June 1.

#4 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA | While he has been wearing the No 7 jersey in recent weeks Lolohea has been operating at fullback; this time it’s official as the team’s top points-scorer starts against Penrith with the No 1 on his back.

#5 SAM LOUSI | The giant forward’s comeback continues with his third match since his most recent injury lay-off and his sixth of the season in all. He’s showing signs of getting back to his best as he gets more game time.

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1        TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

2        NGATAUA HUKATAI

3        SOLOMONE KATA

22       SAM COOK

5        JARROD TUA

6        CARLOS TUIMAVAVE

7        STEVE WAETFORD

8        UPU POCHING

9        SILIVA HAVILI

10       AGNATIUS PAASI

21       ABRAHAM PAPALII

12       RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER

17       DAVID BHANA

Interchange:

13       JOHN PALAVI

14       MICHAEL SIO

15       ALBERT VETE

16       SAM LOUSI

17       DAVID BHANA

COACH: ROHAN SMITH

 

COVERAGE

Live coverage on SKY Sport 2 at 11.30am.