Wing Roela Radiniyavuni and front rower Tyler Reid will make their NRLW debuts in the Warriors' second-round premiership encounter with the St George Illawarra Dragons at Mount Smart Stadium today (3.15pm kick-off).
In late selection changes, Fiji international Radiniyavuni comes onto the left wing and Reid has been brought onto the bench.
Radiniyavuni replaces Madison Bartlett, who made her debut last week, while Reid is in for Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell.
There's also a change in the starting pack with Onjeurlina Leiataua brought into the second row and Kathleen Wharton moving to the interchange.
Dropping out of the 21 players originally named are Bartlett, Noble-Bell, Tasia Seumanufagai and Amber Kani.
The Warriors' first NRLW home game – and the competition’s first standalone fixture – follows an impressive 16-12 first-up triumph over the Sydney Roosters at the SCG last Saturday.
In a performance featuring a number of standout efforts and moments, rookie halfback Charntay Poko excelled with her kicking game and all-round touches including a critical try early in the second half.
The kicking statistics for the match underlined Poko’s value. She was the Warriors’ only kicker, making a competition record 515 metres from her 16 kicks including a 40/30 which led to the side’s first try; the Warriors also forced three goal-line dropouts on the back of Poko’s kicking game. The Roosters managed just 267 kicking metres.
The Warriors had a number of other strong contributors including captain Georgia Hale and centre Atawhai Tupaea. Besides her try, Hale made a game high 40 tackles without a miss while Tupaea, making her comeback at top level, scored the match-sealing try, gained a team high 106 metres from 12 runs with three tackle breaks and made 19 tackles with only one miss.
The Dragons were also the Warriors’ second-round opponents in last year’s competition.
On that occasion, the Warriors were coming off a 10-4 win over the Roosters while the Dragons had lost 4-30 to Brisbane. However, needing a win to boost their grand final claims, the Warriors fell 10-22 to St George Illawarra.
The same scenario presents itself again today although with the Warriors having the notable advantage of playing at home this time.
While the Warriors again take winning form into the contest, the Dragons fell 4-14 to defending champions the Brisbane Broncos last Sunday.
NRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP
WARRIORS v ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
3.15pm, Sunday, September 22, 2019
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Referees: Kasey Badger and Ethan Menchin
1 APII NICHOLLS
2 HILDA MARIU
3 ATAWHAI TUPAEA
4 JULIANA NEWMAN
18 ROELA RADINIYAVUNI
6 TIMAIMA RAVISA
7 CHARNTAY POKO
8 ANNETTA-CLAUDIA NUUAUSALA
9 KRYSTAL ROTA
10 AIESHALEIGH SMALLEY
24 ONJEURLINA LEIATAUA
12 CRYSTAL TAMARUA
13 GEORGIA HALE (c)
11 KATHLEEN WHARTON
14 KANYON PAUL
16 BILLY-JEAN ALE
25 TYLER REID
HEAD COACH | LUISA AVAIKI