Koli Oneone makes his eighth NYC appearance today

NYC ROUND #9 | v Cronulla Sharks

Two more players are in line for their NYC debuts when the fourth-placed Vodafone Junior Warriors face the Cronulla Sharks in tomorrow’s ninth-round encounter at Remondis Stadium in Sydney (3.15pm kick-off local time; 5.15pm NZT).

Prop Nick Lui-Toso and fullback-wing Junior Pauga were named on a five-man bench in the original selection.

The Glenora club-mates were both in the Kelston Boys’ High School side which won the grand finals last year in both Auckland’s College Rugby League competition and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby League Nationals. 

Australian-born Lui-Toso, who turns 19 on May 14, played junior rugby league in Penrith and then Harold Matthews 15s before he moved to Auckland with his family. After playing rugby union initially he switched back to rugby league last year with Kelston Boys' High and the Glenora under-18s, moving up to play for the club’s premiers in Auckland’s Fox Memorial championship this season.

Lui-Toso and Pauga (19) were also in the New Zealand Secondary Schools which played New South Wales Combined High Schools last year. Pauga works for the Vodafone Warriors as a community development officer.

While Lui-Toso and Pauga have been named in the NYC squad for the first time this year, another two players are set to make just their second appearances. Koli Oneone is named to start in the centres after scoring a try on debut in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ last match, a 34-12 win over Gold Coast on Anzac Day; and returning on the bench after his debut in the opening round against Newcastle is Tualima Tualima.

At the other end of the experience scale, captain Toafofoa Sipley (41 games), fellow front rower Bunty Afoa (34) and loose forward Jazz Tevaga (28) return after being with the Junior Kiwis for their encounter with the Junior Kangaroos in Robina last Saturday.

Sipley was impressive in the Junior Kiwis’ 20-22 loss, making 167 metres from 14 runs and adding 17 tackles while Tevaga was one of the side’s busiest defenders with 28 tackles. Afoa was 18th man.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors sit fourth on the table with 11 points from five wins, a draw and five losses – they’ve lost only one of their last five games – while the Sharks are 15th on four points with three losses in their last five outings.

       

CRONULLA SHARKS v VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

Remondis Stadium, Cronulla

5.30pm, Saturday, May 09

Referee: Chris Treneman

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 TOMAS AOAKE

3 SEMISI TYRELL

4 KOLI ONEONE

5 PAUL ULBERG

6 ATA HINGANO

7 ERIN CLARK

8 BUNTY AFOA

9 NATHANIEL ROACHE

10 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY (c)

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14 TUALIMA TUALIMA

15 ISAIAH COOPER-TETEVANO

16 NICK LUI-TOSO

17 PAUL TULI

18 JUNIOR PAUGA

COACH: KELVIN WRIGHT