Impressive rookie second rower Eliesa Katoa is out for at least two weeks with an injury to his left hand which he picked up in his first carry in Saturday’s stunning 36-6 victory over Newcastle at Scully Park in Tamworth.
Parramatta loan players George Jennings and Daniel Alvaro are also out of the side. They haven’t been released by the Eels this week after being in the line-up the past five weeks, a period in which the Vodafone Warriors have beaten the Wests Tigers, Manly, Canterbury Bankstown and Newcastle while losing just 12-18 to competition leader Penrith.
Promoted from the bench to take Katoa’s spot is mid-season signing Jack Murchie, who has been outstanding since returning to the side two weeks ago.
He came off the interchange to score two tries, create another, run 73 metres from seven carries and make 32 tackles with no misses in the 20-14 win over the Bulldogs followed by a 58-minute stint against the Knights when he made 116 metres from 11 runs, had three tackles breaks and made 28 tackles with just one miss.
On paper they slaughter us but this is the new normal where we're good and the refs aren't blind now. If we win this it just proves miracles do happen if you're all in and just believe.
1 Clinton Gutherson 2 Maika Sivo 3 Michael Jennings 4 Waqa Blake 5 Blake Ferguson 6 Jai Field 7 Mitchell Moses 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9 Reed Mahoney 10 Junior Paulo 11 Shaun Lane 12 Ryan Matterson 13 Nathan Brown 14 Ray Stone 15 Marata Niukore 16 Kane Evans 17 Oregon Kaufusi