WARRIORS UNCHANGED FOR PENRITH TRIP

Via Warriors Media

Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has retained an unchanged playing squad for Friday night’s 10th-round NRL match against Penrith at Panthers Stadium in Sydney (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).

Of the top 17 named, hooker Nate Roache (back), second rower Tohu Harris (knee) and utility forward Jazz Tevaga (foot) weren’t on the field this morning as the team trained for the first time since Saturday night’s memorable 26-18 Magic Round victory over St George Illawarra.

However, Kearney is hopeful all three will come through training this week to take their places in a side which scored 20 unanswered second half points to beat the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

The clash against St George Illawarra was the first time since the opening round of the season that the Vodafone Warriors had lined up as originally named 1-17.

This week’s selection leaves the club’s two most experienced players – Adam Blair and Issac Luke – among the four on the extended bench along with Gerard Beale and Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Blair’s anticipated 300th career appearance is set to be pushed out another week should the originally selected 17 take the field on Friday. He’s on 297 games at the moment.

The Vodafone Warriors head to Penrith on Thursday after putting together an impressive second half against the Dragons, one in which they failed to complete just one set (17 from 18) and ran at 91 per cent for the match (30 from 33 sets).

The outside backs scored all four tries in the second spell, left centre Peta Hiku with two and wings Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a with one each. Maumalo now has seven tries in the first nine rounds, already level with the best return he’s had in a season (seven in 23 games in 2017).

The Vodafone Warriors are 12th on the ladder on six points while the Panthers are 15th on four points after a 4-30 defeat by the Wests Tigers last Friday night, their fifth loss on end.

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