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The Vodafone Junior Warriors will take an unchanged line-up into their NYC preliminary final against minor premier Penrith at Suncorp Stadium tonight (7.15pm kick-off NZT).

Coach Kelvin Wright has confirmed player of the year Bunty Afoa will take his place in the front row despite being forced off the field with more knee trouble in last week’s 45-10 win over the Brisbane Broncos.

Afoa played the first 30 minutes but wasn’t able to return. However, he came through the final team run in Brisbane yesterday and will start his 51st NYC career game.

Erin Clark will again start at hooker with Kauri Aupouri and Ata Hingano in the halves.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors are within reach of making their third consecutive NYC grand final – and doing so from the bottom half of the top eight.

They lost the grand final to Penrith in 2013 before beating Brisbane to claim the title last year.

Tonight’s match is their fifth consecutive away game in as many weeks as they seek to beat the competition’s top side this season.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors lost their only regular season meeting with the Panthers this season.

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

 

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

5.15pm, Friday, September 25

Referees: Matt Noyen and Jon Stone

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 BRAD ABBEY

2 TOMAS AOAKE

3 MARATA NIUKORE

4 SEMISI TYRELL

5 PAUL ULBERG

6 ATA HINGANO

7 KAURI AUPOURI

8 BUNTY AFOA

9 ERIN CLARK

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

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT

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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