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Warriors Vs. Newcastle
2015 NRL Premiership Season, 1 June, 2015
|Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland|
|Warriors 24 defeated Newcastle 20|
|Referee: Cummins, B|
|Touch judges: MacFarlane, R & Elliott, A|
The New Zealand Warriors welcome back Sam Tomkins as they seek their third straight victory against an out of sorts Newcastle Knights team at Mt Smart Stadium. Join The Roar from 1.50pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.
After a promising start to the season, the Knights have recorded just one victory from their last seven, including a second half collapse against the Broncos last Monday. An upset victory in New Zealand might just be the catalyst in turning their season around.
However, the Warriors will come into the game confident and well-rested after two hard-fought victories in succession over the Sharks and Eels followed by a bye.
Neither side will be too affected by last Wednesday’s Origin with Jacob Lillyman, Ryan Hoffman and Beau Scott the only players involved.
The return of Tomkins sees Tuimoala Lolohea shifted into the centres. Nathan Friend will start at hooker, as Thomas Leuluai will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Seb Ikahihifo also comes in for Sione Lousi on the interchange.
For the Knights, Adam Clydsdale returns in the number nine jersey, pushing Tyler Randell back to the bench. Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith are also back in the side, with Clint Newton, Chad Redman and Pat Vaivai dropping out.
Despite a pair of unconvincing victories, the Warriors’ halves of Johnson and Townsend have been in ominous form running the football, combining for 296 metres gained, three try assists and two tries over their past two wins.
The returns of Tomkins and Vatuvei will give the Warriors two more attacking threats to help share the load.
After winning their round one clash 24-14, a victory for the Knights here would make it three in a row against the Warriors.
However with the return of a couple of star backs and the fact they are coming in fresh off a bye, the Warriors should be too strong.
Warriors by 8.
In any case, it should be compelling viewing so join The Roar from 1:50 (AEST) to follow our live coverage, and remember to leave your comments as the game progresses.