Utility Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard is one of three Vodafone Junior Warriors players with 50-plus NYC games heading into tonight's finals clash. Image | www.photosport.co.nz

NYC ROUND #20 | Nearing milestone

Vodafone Junior Warriors utility Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard moves within one appearance of the NYC’s 50-game milestone when he lines up against Manly in Sunday’s 20th-round encounter at Mount Smart Stadium (1.45pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Suzuki).

Now in his third NYC campaign, Tuimavave-Gerrard has again been named in the second row for his 49th outing leaving him poised to become the 10th member of the club’s 50-game club in Sunday week’s clash against the Raiders in Canberra.

He’ll become the second Vodafone Junior Warrior to achieve the feat this season after injured co-captain Mason Lino (54). The other players in the group are Ben Henry (64), John Palavi (63), Siliva Havili (57), Elijah Taylor (52), Nafe Seluini (52), Carlos Tuimavave (51), Omar Slaimankhel (51) and Siuatonga Likiliki (50).

Tuimavave-Gerrard was his team’s top defender in last Saturday night’s superb 40-18 win against the then second-placed Brisbane Broncos.

The win wasn’t enough to improve the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ position on the ladder as they remained alone in eight spot on 22 points; they have the fourth best record on attack in the competition with 521 points while they’re in eighth spot defensively having conceded 412 points.

Just a point separates them and ninth-placed Manly with the Sea Eagles on a hot run of form with four wins on end and five wins and a draw in their last six starts.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors in contrast have been up and down in their last four outings with a loss-win-loss-win pattern.

Their success against the Broncos was impressive, though.

Not only did they amass 40 points from seven tries, they missed just 14 tackles.

They don’t have damaging centre Solomone Kata who returns to the club’s New South Wales Cup side this week; he had a significant impact last week making 176 metres from 18 runs.

However, fullback Brad Abbey with 140 metres, wingers Viliami Kaveinga (134) and Metia Lisati (96) as well as forwards Sam Lisone (134), Michael Ki (163) and Toafofoa Sipley (117) all gave the side plenty of momentum in possession.

Abbey will make his 18th straight appearance in his rookie season this weekend, the only player to appear in every one of the team’s games.

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v MANLY SEA EAGLES

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

1.45pm, Sunday, July 27

Referees: Peter Gough and Shane Rehm

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 VILIAMI KAVEINGA

3 LAFU FEAGAIGA

4 MARATA NIUKORE

5 METIA LISATI

6 MAFOA’AEATA HINGANO

7 SEMISI TYRELL

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 PAUL TULI

16 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

17 JAMES BELL

20 KOUMA SAMSON

COACH: STACEY JONES