NSW CUP ROUND #7 | Fisiiahi back
Glen Fisiiahi is poised to play his first game in more than year after being named at fullback for the Vodafone Warriors’ seventh-round New South Wales Cup game against Penrith at Pepper Stadium on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off local time; 5.00pm NZT).
Fisiiahi made a sizzling start to 2014 with seven tries in the first four rounds but his fifth outing against Cronulla on April 5 was to be his last of the season.
A shoulder injury – which later required surgery – sidelined him for the rest of the campaign.
Now he is set to join the club’s 2014 Vodafone NRL rookie of the year David Fusitu’a who also returned from shoulder surgery against Wests Tigers last Saturday.
With Fisiiahi at fullback, Viliami Kaveinga switches to the wing and Jarrod Tua moves into the centres replacing the suspended Matt Allwood.
Back in the starting pack is Sebastine Ikahihifo after being the NRL side’s 18th man against the Tigers; regular NSW Cup second rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner has travelled to Townsville as 18th man this week.
The Vodafone Warriors recovered well from their heavy loss to Wyong by beating Wests Tigers 28-16 last Saturday, a result which pushed them up to fifth on the ladder, one of four teams on eight points with only the unbeaten Mounties ahead of them.
The Stacey Jones-coached side fed off some outstanding individual contributions. Prop Suaia Matagi backed up his 150 metres from 14 runs with 25 tackles while veteran front rower Sam Rapira made 99 metres from just eight high-quality runs as well as making 27 tackles. Faitala-Mariner had stats of 124 metres from 14 carries plus a game-high 38 tackles.
The Panthers will provide another challenge. They’re running fourth on the table.
PENRITH PANTHERS v VODAFONE WARRIORS
Pepper Stadium, Penrith
3.00pm, Saturday, April 18
Referee: Damian Briscoe
1 GLEN FISIIAHI
2 KEN MAUMALO
3 JARROD TUA
4 DAVID FUSITU’A
5 VILIAMI KAVEINGA
6 API PEWHAIRANGI
7 SAM COOK
8 SUAIA MATAGI
9 SILIVA HAVILI
10 SAM RAPIRA
11 SIONE LOUSI
12 JOHN PALAVI (c)
16 SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO
14 DAVID BHANA
15 CHARLIE GUBB
16 NATHANIEL PETERU
17 JAMES BELL
18 SAULA SOLOMONA
COACH: STACEY JONES