No late positional switches or personnel changes have been made for the Vodafone Warriors’ 15th-round NRL encounter with the Sydney Roosters at Mount Smart Stadium today (6.10pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Canterbury of New Zealand).
They will start as selected 1-13 as they seek a third straight win after successes against Brisbane and Newcastle in the last two rounds.
Rookie prop Toafofoa Sipley (21) is on the bench for his second NRL appearance while 2015 debutant Ken Maumalo (21) plays his first NRL game of the year replacing the injured Manu Vatuvei (hamstring).
After making an impressive NRL debut against St George Illawarra on May 1, Sipley has maintained his form with the Stacey Jones-coached Intrust Super Premiership side.
Maumalo played eight NRL matches last year but, apart from being the NRL team’s 18th man against the Dragons, he has been on ISP duty until now. He has scored nine tries in 10 matches this year averaging 143 metres a game.
The Vodafone Warriors will be without a combined total of 437 NRL games with Queensland Origin representative Jacob Lillyman and Vatuvei absent but they gain two monsters in Maumalo and Sipley.
Apart from Sipley, the Vodafone Warriors have an unchanged bench with hooker Nathaniel Roache again joined by middle forwards Sam Lisone and Charlie Gubb.
In their last two outings the Vodafone Warriors have totalled 86 points and scored 16 tries while conceding only 32 points.
The Vodafone Warriors are recognising their heritage by wearing an eye-catching replica of their strip from the 2002 season when they played the Roosters in the grand final.
They have a 19-16 edge over the Roosters overall with one match drawn. In 16 matches at Mount Smart Stadium the record stands at 10-6 in the Vodafone Warriors’ favour.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
6.10pm, Sunday, June 19
Referees: Jared Maxwell and Chris James
1 TUIMOALA LOLOHEA
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 BLAKE AYSHFORD
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 THOMAS LEULUAI
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 ALBERT VETE
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 BEN MATULINO
11 BODENE THOMPSON
12 RYAN HOFFMAN (c)
13 SIMON MANNERING
14 NATHANIEL ROACHE
15 SAM LISONE
16 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
17 CHARLIE GUBB
HEAD COACH | ANDREW McFADDEN