Team List NRL 2017 Round 1 - Warriors vs Knights TEAM LIST

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01 Jan 1970 12:00PM

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NRL 2017 Round 1 - Warriors vs Knights TEAM LIST

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NZWF Official thread for the 2017 Round 1 Warriors team list and discussion...

Vodafone Warriors v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
4pm, Sunday, March 05

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 Tuimoala Lolohea
3 David Fusitua
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Ata Hingano
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Albert Vete
9 Issac Luke
10 Charlie Gubb
11 Bunty Afoa
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering

Interchange
14 Erin Clark
15 Jacob Lillyman
16 Sam Lisone
17 Isaiah Papalii
18 Bodene Thompson
20 Mason Lino
21 James Gavet
22 Blake Ayshford
 
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1995Warriorsfan

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Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has today retained the same starting line-up used in the club’s final trial for his debut NRL match in charge against the Newcastle Knights at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday (4.00pm kick-off; game day sponsor: Vodafone).

Albert Vete and Charlie Gubb will again start in the front row as they did in the 26-6 win over the Gold Coast Titans in Palmerston North on February 19.

Ata Hingano is confirmed at standoff, Ken Maumalo on the left wing and Ryan Hoffman and Bunty Afoa are paired in the second row.

The match doubles as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s first NRL outing since April 16 last year and also his first-grade debut as captain.

“Those players earned the opportunity for the first match of the season,” said Kearney.

“There were a lot of good signs from them against the Titans. Having said that, there are lots of areas we need to improve on.”

The NRL has instituted a new team-naming protocol this season which requires all clubs to list 21 players each Tuesday with the squad to be trimmed to 19 24 hours before the game. The final playing 17 – confirmed an hour before kick-off – must come from the 19-man group.

Kearney has included two players on the extended bench who are in line to make their NRL debuts – second rower Isaiah Papalii (18) and utility Erin Clark (19).

Seasoned Jacob Lillyman and Sam Lisone, closing in on 50 NRL appearances, are also on the interchange along with second rower Bodene Thompson, halfback Mason Lino, prop James Gavet and centre Blake Ayshford.

The contest against the Knights marks the first time the Vodafone Warriors have opened a season at their home ground since beating the Parramatta Eels 26-18 in 2009 (which happens to be the last time they’ve started a campaign with a victory).

As the season starts, veteran back rower Simon Mannering is only four matches short of topping Stacey Jones’ club record 261 NRL appearances while halfback Shaun Johnson needs eight more points to top Jones’ mark for most points (674).

Hoffman is 14 games away from joining the NRL’s 300-game club, Tuivasa-Sheck needs nine more games to reach the 100-mark and right wing Tuimoala Lolohea plays his 49th game.

The Vodafone Warriors have an impressive recent record against Newcastle. They’ve won 10 of the last 11 contests at Mount Smart stretching back to 2006. If they win this one it will be the club’s 249th victory overall.

The Vodafone Warriors begin their 2017 season with a triple-header on Sunday. In the first match the Vodafone Junior Warriors face the Knights in their NYC encounter (11.45am kick-off) followed by the Intrust Super Premiership match against Newcastle (1.45pm kick-off).

VODAFONE WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
4pm, Sunday, March 05

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 Tuimoala Lolohea
3 David Fusitua
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Mafoa’aeata Hingano
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Albert Vete
9 Issac Luke
10 Charlie Gubb
11 Bunty Afoa
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering

Interchange
14 Erin Clark
15 Jacob Lillyman
16 Sam Lisone
17 Isaiah Papalii
18 Bodene Thompson
20 Mason Lino
21 James Gavet
22 Blake Ayshford
 
What? Ask any Ozzie and they'll tell you they're a huge pack. Seriously though, it will all come down to attitude, effort and application.

Exactly.

On paper, that's a weaker side than this time last year. But, with this team, if their heads and bodies are in the right place, there's more than enough there to crush Newcastle.

Now it's a matter of wait and see.
 
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A couple of things I am hoping to see with regard to the pack is more forwards in motion and more footwork at the line. We don't need the biggest pack in the world to create deception in the defensive line.

In saying that though I still think we get dominated quite easily in the wrestle so hopefully there is some improvement on both defence and offence there as well.
 
Still not convinced about Maumalo on the wing. Rest of the team is roughly as expected. Good to see Bodene is on the extended bench, but fully expect him to be dropped from the match day 17.

Kearney is definitely taking a leaf out of Bennett's book here with a massive bench. Surprised to see Lino on there. Wonder if that means one of Hingano or Shaun Johnson is carrying a niggle?

Haven't heard/seen anything re: Ayshford this year - any inside word on how he's been training? Or is he completely just depth/injury cover this year? (don't get me wrong, he shouldn't be starting ahead of Fusitua or Kata in the centres, but more curious to see how the pecking order is working with regards to Maumalo).
 
Still not convinced about Maumalo on the wing. Rest of the team is roughly as expected. Good to see Bodene is on the extended bench, but fully expect him to be dropped from the match day 17.

Kearney is definitely taking a leaf out of Bennett's book here with a massive bench. Surprised to see Lino on there. Wonder if that means one of Hingano or Shaun Johnson is carrying a niggle?

Haven't heard/seen anything re: Ayshford this year - any inside word on how he's been training? Or is he completely just depth/injury cover this year? (don't get me wrong, he shouldn't be starting ahead of Fusitua or Kata in the centres, but more curious to see how the pecking order is working with regards to Maumalo).

Would have preferred to see Ashford in the centres and Fusitua back to wing instead of Ken
 
Would have preferred to see Ashford in the centres and Fusitua back to wing instead of Ken

That would be my thoughts too based on last year's overall form. But hard to say given I haven't seen anything from Ayshford this year.

Maybe Kearney sees something different from Maumalo that I'm missing though.

The only other reason I could see it going this way is because Fusitua will likely have trained all preseason at centre and if it's only one week, and it's the knights, maybe let's give Fusitua some time to play in his long term position.

Or maybe Ayshford has had a crap preseason - I don't know.
 
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