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Sunday afternoon's blockbuster presents an array of enticing match-ups but perhaps none are more fascinating than the master-versus-prodigy battle between Manu Vatuvei and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Vatuvei's record truly does speaks for itself. His 191 career appearances for the Vodafone Warriors are topped only by three others at the club: Stacey Jones, Simon Mannering and Logan Swann.

When it comes to tries, however, 'The Beast' is matchless at the club as he has racked up 134 since he debuted mid-way through the 2004 campaign after being scouted as a stand-out on the club circuit with the Otara Scorpions and Otahuhu Leopards.

The 28-year-old reached a special milestone this year that demonstrates his longevity and high performance, as he became the only player apart from the legendary Ken Irvine to record 10 tries or more in nine consecutive seasons. 

He has gone well beyond that mark of 10 this year, with his current total of 16 leading all Vodafone Warriors. His total mileage of 2662 metres also leads the team.

His opposite number Roger Tuivasa-Sheck does not yet have the experience to match but, with 51 games under his belt as a 21 year old, he is well on his way to becoming one of the league's powerhouses. Experience aside, it's certain that 'RTS' does have the athleticism and the electrifying talent to compete with the game's best.

The Samoan-born winger was scouted by the Sydney club after an eye-catching year captaining Otahuhu College in 2011. He became a regular fixture in the Roosters' NYC side in 2012 and quickly put pressure on his first grade counterparts, eventually earning six starts in the wing spot, all before his 20th birthday.

He was able to build on this in 2013, which proved to be an enormous year for the youngster. 'RTS' was elevated into the NRL squad full-time and this proved an incredibly successful decision by the coaching staff. Tuivasa-Sheck went on to score nine tries and was instrumental in helping the club to their its premiership since it defeated the Vodafone Warriors in the 2002 grand final. He followed up his NRL form with a strong performance at the World Cup at year's end.

There has been no let-up this year, with Tuivasa-Sheck having seven tries to his name so far as well as 2910 metres, a tally which is only surpassed by five other players in the league.

'RTS' will be eager to impress in his first outing at Mount Smart Stadium. In two previous career matches against the Vodafone Warriors he has been held scoreless and was particularly outshone the last time the two teams meet. 

Vatuvei put on a dominant performance in Round 13 last year, when the Vodafone Warriors pieced together one of their best wins of the season in a 23-12 dog-fight at Sydney Football Stadium. 

'The Beast' will be hoping the Vodafone Warriors can pull off a similar result in an encounter that will go a long way to deciding each team's fate in terms of how they are placed going into finals football.

Sun 24 Aug 2014 2.00pm
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