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New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Warriors
Round 12 of the NRL Premiership continues this afternoon when the New Zealand Warriors host the Newcastle Knights at Moreton Daily Stadium at Redcliffe. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 3.00pm AEST.
We are not quite at the half way mark of the season but, for these two sides, it is very much a case of “last chance saloon” at Redcliffe today. For the loser, chances of a top 8 finish realistically disappear.
The Warriors vs Dragons game was perhaps more entertaining than expected, but entertainment doesn’t win two competition points. The Warriors got out to a healthy lead but were eventually run down.
Much was made of Shaun Johnson’s homecoming this season but, to date, his game changing moments have been few and far between. With the Warriors forward pack diminished, Johnson’s kicking game will need to be on song.
With Addin Fonua-Blake injured, Jazz Tevaga moves to prop and Freddy Lussic will start as hooker. Taniela Otukolo is the new face on the bench. Chanel Harris-Tavita returns from injury, pushing Daejarn Asi to the reserves.
The Knights have been hurt by injury but, that aside, they have been probably the biggest disappointment in the NRL this year. Whether it was Mitchell Pearce leaving the club or Jayden Brailey’s season ending injury, the Knights are now running low on confidence.
They were given some chance at home last round against a Broncos team missing Adam Reynolds. However, 4 tries in the last 13 minutes saw Brisbane romp to a 36-12 win.
Enari Tuala replaces the injured Bradman Best whilst Jake Clifford gets another chance at halfback, replacing Adam Clune. Anthony Milford retains his spot at 5/8th.
Sadly, you could put forward a solid case for both of these teams to lose.
However, at their adopted home, and after an improved performance last round, I’m tipping the Warriors with little confidence.
New Zealand Warriors by 4
1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Ben Murdoch-Masila 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Euan Aitken 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jack Murchie
Interchange: 14. Taniela Otukolo 15. Aaron Pene 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Eliesa Katoa
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jake Clifford 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett
Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Mathew Croker