Albert Vete celebrates with David Bhana. Warriors v  North Sydney. VB NSW Cup Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. New Zealand. Sunday 31 August 2014. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.Photosport.co.nz

Ropati in for finals

The Vodafone Warriors NSW Cup team have made the VB NSW Cup finals in their first season competing in the state-based competition, after taking over from the Auckland Vulcans this year. 2013 was the last time a Vodafone Warriors affiliated team made it to the VB NSW Cup finals, with the Auckland Vulcans going down 34-24 in the first week of the finals against West Tigers.

There are only a couple of changes to the team that beat the North Sydney Bears 48-12 at Mount Smart last Sunday. The experienced Tangi Ropati comes in for Jarred Wilson on the wing; Agnatius Paasi shifts to lock with last week’s 18th man for the NRL team John Palavi coming into the second row and Feleti Mateo recalled to first grade. The bench again features youth with three former NYC players in Vete, Papalii, Bhana and Michael Ki who is still eligible to play for the Vodafone Junior Warriors. 18th man is TBC.

The team will again be directed around the park by Chad Townsend who was instrumental in setting up many of the tries last Sunday, and was on form with the boot kicking eight from eight conversions. Townsend knows all about finals football having won the 2013 NSW Cup with the Cronulla Sharks, beating Windsor Wolves 36-8 in last year’s Grand Final.

Finishing the regular season 5th on the table the Mounties will go into this match with plenty of confidence having beaten the Vodafone Warriors 42-4 and 42-22 in the two times they met this season.

The Vodafone Warriors and Mounties clash will be the second of three matches in what will be an exciting day of rugby league in Sydney’s inner west.

Sun, Sept 7

12:00 PM AEST

Penrith Panthers

Illawarra Cutters

Leichhardt Oval

Sun, Sept 7

2:00 PM AEST

Mounties

Vodafone Warriors

Leichhardt Oval

Sun, Sept 7

4:00 PM AEST

Wests Tigers

Wyong
Roos

Leichhardt Oval

All matches from the VB NSW Cup finals series will be streamed live via the NSWRL website including the three matches at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

This great initiative from the NSWRL will ensure supporters and family members of the Vodafone Warriors NSW Cup team have the opportunity to cheer on their team from New Zealand.

On the day, this will be the link to the live streaming page - http://www.nswrl.com.au/interactive/nswrl-live-stream.html

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v MOUNTIES

Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

2.00pm (AEST), Sunday, September 7

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 STEVE WAETFORD

2 TANGI ROPATI

3 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE

4 MICHAEL SIO

5 JARROD TUA

6 CHAD TOWNSEND

7 SAM COOK

8 SAM LOUSI

9 SILIVA HAVILI

10 UPU POCHING

11 RAYMOND FAITALA -MARINER

12 JOHN PALAVI

13 AGNATIUS PAASI

INTERCHANGE:

14 ALBERT VETE

15 ABRAHAM PAPALII

16 DAVID BHANA

17 MICHAEL KI

18 TBC

COACH: Rohan Smith