Captain Tohu Harris has failed in his bid to return from his knee injury for the One New Zealand Warriors’ sixth-round NRL clash against Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium tomorrow (6.15pm kick-off local time; 8.15pm NZT).
For the second week running the veteran is a non-starter as he strives to recover from the injury he suffered late in the first half of the 16-14 home win over Canterbury Bankstown on March 26.
Jazz Tevaga, who filled Harris’ position last week, has been brought off the bench to start at loose foward again.
Fullback Taine Tuaupiki, a debutant against the Cowboys in round three, is in line for second NRL appearance after being named to replace Tevaga on the interchange.
Apart from Harris the other two players omitted from the extended squad are halfback Ronald Volkman and Freddy Lussick.
Kiwi winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is named as 18th man as he returns from the calf injury which side-lined him following the club’s second trial against Melbourne in Christchurch in February. Retained as the 19th player is the highly-rated young second rower Demitric Sifakula.
Match: Knights v Warriors
Round 6 -
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Lachlan MillerFullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic YoungWinger for Warriors is number 2 Edward Kosi
Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane GagaiCentre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman BestCentre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
Winger for Knights is number 5 Greg MarzhewWinger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Phoenix CrosslandFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Te Maire Martin
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Jackson HastingsHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Knights is number 8 Daniel SaifitiProp for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
Prop for Knights is number 10 Leo ThompsonProp for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon2nd Row for Warriors is number 15 Josh Curran
Lock for Knights is number 16 Mat CrokerLock for Warriors is number 16 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Knights is number 13 Jack JohnsInterchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley Sironen
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Kurt MannInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jack HetheringtonInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom Ale
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie JonesInterchange for Warriors is number 20 Taine Tuaupiki
Replacement for Knights is number 19 Dylan LucasReplacement for Warriors is number 23 Demitric Sifakula
- Referee: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Adam Gee
Te Maire Martin replaces Volkman at standoff after concussion protocols ruled him out of last Sunday’s dramatic 32-20 victory over Cronulla-Sutherland while second rower Marata Niukore is suspended for the next two matches following an early guilty plea on a dangerous contact charge.
Niukore, who scored his first try for the club on Sunday, is replaced by Bayley Sironen with Josh Curran, who made a telling late impact against Cronulla, on the interchange after being a late replacement for Harris last weekend.
A significant points-scoring milestone is within reach of player of the moment Johnson tomorrow. After picking up 16 points against the Sharks, he's on 997 points for the One New Zealand Warriors needing just three more to become the first player in history to reach the 1000-point mark for the club.
Johnson nailed the maximum six Dally M points as he orchestrated arguably the most astonishing comeback in the club’s history after being 0-20 behind just 18 minutes into the contest.
It wasn’t the biggest. That belongs to the 2021 side which came back from 21 points down (10-31) after 51 minutes to beat the Raiders 34-31 in Canberra.
The effort against the Sharks equalled the margin in another unforgettable fightback in 2005 when the Warriors also recovered from a 0-20 deficit to win 30-26 in Newcastle.
The One New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle meet for the second time in the opening six weeks of the season on Sunday.
The Andrew Webster-coached side launched their campaign with a solid 20-12 home win over the Knights at Sky Stadium in Wellington on March 3.
Sunday’s win over the Sharks boosted them to a 4-1 record, a start bettered only by the 2018 side’s 5-0 effort. It had them sitting second on the ladder at the end of the round, matching the 2018 team’s position at the same stage.
The Knights have gone on to produce wins over the Wests Tigers and Canberra plus an extra-time 32-32 draw with Manly Warringah last week.