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Warriors v Storm: AFB returns; Grant on bench

The Warriors are fighting to snare a berth in the top eight while perennial contenders Melbourne are yet again in with a chance of taking out the minor premiership.

With a 5-7 record, the Warriors have been hot and cold but the emergence of young fullback Reece Walsh in recent weeks has given the club optimism for this season and beyond when captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck embarks on a stint in rugby union.

Melbourne have adapted strongly in the post-Cameron Smith era and they have also received a massive mid-season boost at the back in the form of Nicho Hynes, who has been in a purple patch in the No.1 jersey, filling in for Ryan Papenhuyzen after he was laid low by a head knock.

The rundown

Team news

Warriors: Star prop Addin Fonua-Blake will return via the interchange bench after not playing since round four due to a knee injury. In other news announced an hour before kick-off, Ken Maumalo moves from the reserves list to the wing, with Marcelo Montoya moving into the centres.

Jazz Tevaga will be the 18th man.

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is out with Ben Murdoch-Masila coming into the starting side at prop. Sean O'Sullivan was the other player to drop out of the initial 21-man squad on Saturday.

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns to the fullback role with young gun Reece Walsh suspended.

Kodi Nikorima suffered a head knock against the Cowboys before the bye but is good to go.

The Warriors have won four of their past six games at Central Coast Stadium.

Storm: Nelson Asofa-Solomona will miss the Warriors game after he was found guilty of contrary conduct at the judiciary on Tuesday night.

There was better luck for centre Reimis Smith who had a high tackle charge downgraded and he is free to play.

George Jennings and Kenny Bromwich (rib) are also out, with Dean Ieremia to start on the wing, Tui Kamikamica at prop, Tom Eisenhuth in the second row and Trent Loiero and Chris Lewis joining the bench.

Marion Seve will be the 18th man.

Origin reps Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi and Josh Addo-Carr have been selected in the starting side with Harry Grant on the interchange.

Christian Welch won't play.

The Storm have won their past 10 games against the Warriors.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicholas Hynes
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Centre for Warriors is number 2 Marcelo Montoya
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Warriors is number 21 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Storm is number 18 Dean Ieremia
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes


  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Leeson Ah Mau
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Warriors is number 17 Ben Murdoch-Masila
    Prop for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Bayley Sironen
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
    2nd Row for Storm is number 19 Tom Eisenhuth
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane


  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jack Murchie
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Harry Grant
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Kane Evans
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Aaron Pene
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Storm is number 21 Chris Lewis
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 23 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Interchange for Storm is number 22 Trent Loiero


  • Reserve for Warriors is number 18 Jazz Tevaga
    Reserve for Storm is number 20 Marion Seve

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Tohu Harris v Dale Finucane: These two warhorses have been models of consistency for their teams - they were teammates at the Storm before Harris switched to his homeland in 2018.

Neither player receives too many headlines for flashy play but they are integral members of their respective packs, doing all the dirty work around the rucks which is critical to team success.

Stat attack

The Warriors' defensive line needs to be on its toes - the Storm not only rank No.1 in the NRL for line-break assists with 67, they are also the best for try assists with 60.


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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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