Prop Toafofoa Sipley, in action against the Sydney Roosters last season, is set to return against Parramatta in the first home game of the season on Saturday. Image | www.photosport.co.nz

Prop Toafofoa Sipley’s return from a one-game absence is the only change for the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ third-round NYC clash against the Parramatta Eels at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday (12.45pm kick-off).

Sipley, the side’s most experienced player, is named to start with Amoni Tufui, outstanding as his replacement last week, listed on the interchange.

The swap results in outside back Wesley Tauti being moved out of the squad this week.

Otherwise the line-up is the same as the one which put on eight tries in defeating Canberra 44-24 on Sunday for its first win of the season.

Sheldon Pitama will again start at hooker after his superb display in his first outing for the club while captain Nathaniel Roache is in the centres where he started against the Raiders.

Teamed in the halves once more are standoff Ata Hingano – who turned 18 just a week ago – and 17-year-old halfback Erin Clark; Clark scored his first NYC try in his second appearance last week while Hingano supplied 16 points with a try and six conversions.

Also profiting against Canberra was prop Bunty Afoa, who scored two second half tries (both running off Clark), played 70 minutes and made a game-high 17 runs, gained 149 metres and came up with 28 tackles.

Pitama was another to impress with his sharp work out of dummy half, producing a try, two line breaks, a line break assist and two try assists as well as 23 tackles.

The last time the Vodafone Junior Warriors met the Eels they snatched a last-minute try to advance to the 2014 NYC grand final.

Both sides have started in a similar fashion this season, the Eels following up a heavy loss to Manly with a 30-10 win over the Bulldogs while the Vodafone Junior Warriors also recovered from a big first-round defeat to blow Canberra away 44-24.

BUY A 3-GAME FLEXI PASS NOW

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v PARRAMATTA EELS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

12.45pm, Saturday, March 21

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1   BRAD ABBEY

2   TOMAS AOAKE

3   NATHANIEL ROACHE (c)

4   SEMISI TYRELL

5   PAUL ULBERG

6   ATA HINGANO

7   ERIN CLARK

8   BUNTY AFOA

9   SHELDON PITAMA

10  TOAFOFOA SIPLEY

11  MARATA NIUKORE

12  MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13  JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14  OFAHIKI OGDEN

15  AMONI TUFUI

16  ROMAN TUHIMATA

17  ISAIAH COOPER-TETEVANO

18  LEWIS SOOSEMEA

COACH: KELVIN WRIGHT