(1) NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v (8) VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
5.15pm, Saturday, September 20
Referees: Chris Sutton and Matt Noyen
Vodafone Junior Warriors coach Stacey Jones takes a settled line-up into today’s sudden-death NYC semi-final against minor premier Newcastle at Allianz Stadium today (5.15pm kick-off local time, 7.15pm NZT).
Jones has confirmed the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ squad is as selected earlier in the week, the same combination used in last Saturday’s impressive 44-30 victory over the fifth-placed Sydney Roosters.
In contrast the Knights faltered in their opening assignment losing 22-30 to St George Illawarra but earning a second life through their top four placing.
The Auckland-based side again has call on a number of players with a significant number of NYC games under their belts and also with solid finals experience.
Three players – Mason Lino, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard and Ngataua Hukatai – have all played 50-plus NYC games while Same Lisone makes his 48th appearance today. Another nine players have appeared in 20 or more games.
The last time the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Knights met in Newcastle last month, the home side prevailed 40-34 in a thriller while in June the Vodafone Junior Warriors had an impressive 34-22 win at Mount Smart Stadium.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors are playing their 18th finals match tonight in what is a record seventh successive play-offs campaign. They have won 12 of their 17 finals matches – including two grand finals – since the competition began in 2008.
Live coverage of the match starts on SKY Sport 2 at 5.00pm.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
1 BRAD ABBEY
2 NGATAUA HUKATAI
3 NATHANIEL ROACHE
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 METIA LISATI
6 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA
7 MASON LINO (c)
8 SAM LISONE (c)
9 KURT ROBINSON
10 KOUMA SAMSON
11 MARATA NIUKORE
12 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 JAMES BELL
15 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
16 KEN MAUMALO
17 IULIO AFOA
COACH: STACEY JONES
Live coverage starts on SKY Sport 2 at 7.00pm.