Upu Poching. NSW Cup. Vodafone Warriors v Wentworthville, NRL Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 3 June 2016. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Captain John Palavi and prop Upu Poching will make their 50th Intrust Super Premiership appearances for the Vodafone Warriors in Saturday’s 17th-round encounter with Wests Tigers at Mount Smart Stadium (2.40pm kick-off).

They’re the first players to reach the mark since the club took over the side at the end of the 2013 season.

Palavi started the 2016 campaign with 40 games while Poching had 37 appearances in the last two seasons of the competition previously known as the New South Wales Cup. They also both appeared for the now-defunct Auckland Vulcans in earlier yeare while Poching also turned out for the Auckland Lions when they first appeared on the secen in 2007 before becoming the Vulcans.

Palavi’s run of games for the second-placed Vodafone Warriors this year has been broken by his call-up to the NRL squad and injury while Poching has also spent time on the sidelines.

The Stacey Jones-coached side has won eight of its last nine matches to lie top equal on the ladder with the Mounties but second on points for and against.

Jones has made some adjustments to the line-up which ground out a 15-14 win over North Sydney on Saturday.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been switched to fullback with Tomas Aoake going to the wing while Jonathan Wright comes into the centres.

In the only change to the starting pack, Bunty Afoa comes into the second row with Ofahiki Ogden going to the bench.

The Vodafone Junior Warriors will be seeking a third straight win when they face Gold Coast in the first leg of Saturday’s tripleheader kicking off at 12.40pm.

They come into the game with victories over the Roosters (40-20) and Cronulla (36-32) who are both ranked above them sitting inside the top eight.

Outstanding against the Sharks were centre Junior Pauga and wing Lewis Soosemea who both topped 200 metres, Soosemea scoring two tries. Fullback Kane Telea amassed 20 points from two tries and six conversions.

The Titans are level with the Vodafone Junior Warriors on 14 points but are one spot ahead in 10th place on points for and against.

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland 

2.40pm, Saturday, July 2

 

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD

2 VILIAMI KAVEINGA

3 MATTHEW ALLWOOD

4 JONATHAN WRIGHT

5 TOMAS AOAKE

6 ATA HINGANO

7 MASON LINO

8 JAMES GAVET

9 JAZZ TEVAGA

10 UPU POCHING

11 BUNTY AFOA

12 SHAUN LANE

13 JOHN PALAVI (c)

Interchange:

14 JAMES BELL

15 OFAHIKI OGDEN

16 ALI LAUITIITI

17 PATRICK SIPLEY

COACH | STACEY JONES

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS

Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

12.40pm, Saturday, July 2

 

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 KANE TELEA

2 LEWIS SOOSEMEA

3 JUNIOR PAUGA

4 MARATA NIUKORE

5 MATT FAITOTOA

6 EIDEN ACKLAND

7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

8 KENESE KENESE

9 SHELDON PITAMA (c)

10 CHRIS SIO

11 JOSEPH VUNA

12 JOSEPH PRICE

13 ERIN CLARK

Interchange:

14 TYLER MOHI

15 MATTAIS HEIMULI

16 JEROME MAMEA

17 TAMATI IOANE-NIKO

18 ALFRED SMALLEY

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT