Bunty Afoa during the Junior Warriors v Junior Storm match. NYC Holden Cup U20s Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. New Zealand. Sunday 12 July 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Player of the year Bunty Afoa and standoff Ata Hingano return to the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ line-up for their sudden-death NYC semi-final against the Brisbane Broncos at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville on Saturday (5.00pm kick-off local time; 7.00pm NZT).

After missing the last two matches with a knee injury, front rower Afoa (19) is set to make his 50th appearance joining 13 other players who have previously achieved the milestone for the Vodafone Junior Warriors.

Afoa collected the Vodafone NYC Player of the Year and the Sonny Fai Medal at the club’s NYC awards dinner last week.

Hingano (18), named the TNT NYC Rookie of the Year, returns to the Vodafone Junior Warriors after making 10 appearances for the club’s New South Wales Cup side including its two finals matches against the Mounties and Canterbury-Bankstown. He comes in for the promising Kauri Aupouri, who was among the try-scorers in last Friday’s solid 32-22 week one finals win over the Sydney Roosters.

Afoa will take up his regular starting spot in the front row with Tualima Tualima going to the bench and wing Lewis Soosemea dropping out of the squad.

The seventh-placed Vodafone Junior Warriors face the third-ranked Broncos who lost 24-36 to the Cowboys in their week one final last week.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors and Brisbane met only once during the regular season when the 2014 premiers won 40-14 at Mount Smart Stadium in round four.  

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v BRISBANE BRONCOS

1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville

5.00pm, Saturday, September 19

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

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 CASEY LAFAELE

10 PAUL TULI

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 MATIU LOVE-HENRY

13 JAZZ TEVAGA (c)

Interchange:

14 TYLER MOHI

15 MATTAIS HEIMULI

16 AMONI TUFUI

17 TUALIMA TUALIMA

18 KAURI AUPOURI

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT