Second rower Michael Ki on New South Wales Cup duty for the Vodafone Warriors against Newcastle. Image | www.photosport.co.nz

NYC ROUND #19 | Ki boost

Second rower Michael Ki returns to the Vodafone Junior Warriors for their 19th-round NYC encounter with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday (5.15pm kick-off local time; 7.15pm NZT).

Ki, who has just turned 20, brings added experience to the side after making seven appearances for the club’s New South Wales Cup team over the last two months.

He joins 47-game NYC ‘veteran’ Adam Tuimvave-Gerrard in the second row with Jazz Tevaga named to start at loose forward.

Coach Stacey Jones has named six players on the interchange bench – Nathaniel Roache, Marata Niukore, Paul Tuli, Toafofoa Sipley, Mikaere Beattie and Kouma Samson.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors sit just inside the NYC’s top eight. With eight wins and eight losses, they’re one of three teams on 20 points along with Penrith (ninth) and South Sydney (10th).

In the 16th round they met the Penrith Panthers in a rematch of the 2013 NYC grand final, an occasion when Penrith prevailed to deny the Vodafone Junior Warriors a third premiership in four years. 

They avenged that result with a highly impressive display to win 30-13 but were devastated last Saturday night when they suffered a last-minute 19-22 loss to Parramatta.

The Broncos now sit second in the competition on 27 points boasting a 6-1 win-loss record at home while the Vodafone Junior Warriors are 3-5 on the road.

When the two teams met at Mount Smart Stadium on June 21, the Broncos raced to a 36-0 halftime lead before the Vodafone Junior Warriors responded with a run of 18 unanswered points in the second half.

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v BRISBANE BRONCOS

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

5.15pm, Saturday, July 19

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 VILIAMI KAVEINGA

3 SEMISI TYRELL

4 KEN MAUMALO

5 METIA LISATI

6 MAFOA’AEATA HINGANO

7 MASON LINO (c)

8 IULIO AFOA 

9 KURT ROBINSON

10 SAM LISONE (c)

11 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD

12 MICHAEL KI

13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14 NATHANIEL ROACHE

15 MARATA NIUKORE

16 PAUL TULI

17 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

18 MIKAERE BEATTIE

20 KOUMA SAMSON

COACH: STACEY JONES