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Brad Abbey and Nate Roache holding the bridge.

Vodafone Junior Warriors coach Kelvin Wright has named an unchanged starting line-up but has made some changes to the bench for the club’s round two NYC encounter with the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Sunday (4.15pm kick-off local time; 6.15pm NZT).

The run-on side last week included only one NYC debutant – halfback Erin Clark – while three on the bench (Tualima Tualima, Tamati Ioane-Niko and Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano) were making their first appearances in the competition.

Of the quartet only Cooper-Tetevano remains on a six-man bench named today.

Hooker Sheldon Pitama, who played five times for Melbourne’s NYC side last year, is set to play for the Vodafone Junior Warriors for the first time after being 18th man in Newcastle. Also chosen is the hard-hitting Wesley Tauti – used three times last year – and Joseph Price (one game last year) along with new faces Amoni Tufui and Roman Tuhimata.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors are coming off a performance which saw them hang in with the Knights for a long passage of last week’s contest. They were locked at 16-16 at halftime and, after conceding a try early in the second half, were just 16-22 adrift for much of the spell until the home side scored three tries inside the last 14 minutes to win 41-16.

In contrast the Raiders opened their 2015 account with a 34-32 victory over Cronulla.

In their two meetings last year the eventual premiership-winning Vodafone Junior Warriors knocked up 54 points both times, triumphing 54-0 at Eden Park and 54-6 at GIO Stadium (their first victory in Canberra).



GIO Stadium, Canberra

4.15pm, Sunday, March 15



1            BRAD ABBEY

2            TOMAS AOAKE

3            MARATA NIUKORE

4            SEMISI TYRELL

5            PAUL ULBERG

6            ATA HINGANO

7            ERIN CLARK

8            BUNTY AFOA

9            NATHANIEL ROACHE (c)


11          OFAHIKI OGDEN

12          MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13          JAZZ TEVAGA


14          SHELDON PITAMA

15          AMONI TUFUI

16          WESLEY TAUTI


18          JOSEPH PRICE

20          ROMAN TUHIMATA


Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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