Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and 300-game veteran Simon Mannering are both set to line up for the Vodafone Warriors in their NRL elimination final against the Penrith Panthers in Saturday’s sudden-death play-off at ANZ Stadium (5.30pm kick-off local time; 7.30pm NZT).
Both came through today’s field session at ANZ Stadium this morning.
The two players omitted tonight from the initial 21-man squad are halfback Mason Lino and prop Chris Satae.
The Vodafone Warriors head into the play-offs after a seven-year absence to start the club’s eighth finals campaign following previous appearances in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
They finished level on 32 points with four teams in the most congested top eight finish in history with the leading four teams just one win ahead on 34 points.
The Panthers clinched fifth place on points for and against while the Vodafone Warriors were eighth after a season in which they were inside the top eight every week of the regular season en route to a 15-9 win-loss record.
In their two encounters in the regular rounds, Penrith beat the Vodafone Warriors 36-4 at its home ground in July but the Vodafone Warriors avenged the loss with a compelling 36-16 victory to clinch their finals berth at Mount Smart Stadium on August 24.
The rivals have met in the play-offs only once before, the Panthers prevailing 28-20 in the preliminary final in 2003 before claiming the premiership against the Roosters.
In 17 previous finals matches, the Vodafone Warriors have won eight and lost nine while the Panthers have a 13-14 record including two grand final victories in 1991 and 2003.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS
5.30pm, Saturday, September 8, 2018
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referees: Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 PETA HIKU
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 BLAKE GREEN
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 JAMES GAVET
9 ISSAC LUKE
10 AGNATIUS PAASI
11 ADAM BLAIR
12 TOHU HARRIS
13 SIMON MANNERING
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 ISAIAH PAPALI’I
16 BUNTY AFOA
17 GERARD BEALE
18 LEIVAHA PULU
22 KARL LAWTON
HEAD COACH | STEPHEN KEARNEY