Halfback Shaun Johnson is set to return from injury but the Vodafone Warriors will be without Konrad Hurrell, Dane Nielsen and Tuimoala Lolohea for their 23rd-round NRL encounter with the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time; 4.00pm NZT).
While Johnson recovered well from his groin injury last week it was decided not to risk him in yesterday’s clash against Cronulla at Mount Smart Stadium.
Operating without their first-choice halfback for the third week running, the Vodafone Warriors had their second consecutive win beating the Sharks 16-12 to move up to sixth on the ladder.
Hurrell was also on the sideline yesterday after picking up a hamstring injury in the club’s 54-18 success against Canberra a week ago. The blockbusting centre is again out this week.
Also missing against the Knights will be veteran centre Nielsen and rookie Lolohea.
Lolohea had his first NRL start yesterday after two interchange appearances but lasted only a few minutes before being forced off with a hamstring strain.
Nielsen left the field with concussion after a lifting tackle in the 50th minute yesterday. He’s expected to be out for the next two games against the Knights and the Sydney Roosters.
As a result of the incident Sharks forward Sam Tagataese has been handed a grade three dangerous throw charge which will see him miss four games with an early guilty plea. If he contests the charge and loses he will miss six matches.
Tagataese visited the Vodafone Warriors’ dressing room after the match yesterday to check on his former Melbourne team-mate Nielsen.