Via Warriors Media
Injuries have forced Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown to name another new centres combination for the return of the club’s traditional Anzac Day NRL encounter with the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday (6.15pm kick-off local time; 8.15pm NZT).
Peta Hiku (shoulder) and Adam Pompey (ankle) are both side-lined after being injured during last Sunday’s gritty 20-14 win over St George Illawarra.
And Paul Turner, who came off the interchange to replace Hiku early in the contest, has also been ruled out after picking up a shoulder injury in his third NRL appearance.
With the experienced Euan Aitken still recovering from ankle surgery, Brown has turned to Marcelo Montoya again. He was shifted to the wing to replace David Fusitu’a against the Dragons after being used at centre against both the Sydney Roosters and Manly Warringah.
Named as the other centre is second rower Jack Murchie, who was used in the role on the right edge for the last 30 minutes of the remarkable third-round clash against Canberra after Hiku left the field with a knee injury.
Murchie returns to the side after missing the match against the Dragons.
Right winger Fusitu’a (hamstring) returns from a one-game absence while second rower Bayley Sironen is also back after being out with a shoulder complaint the last two rounds.
Another significant selection sees 18-year-old rookie Reece Walsh listed on an extended bench which features two other teenagers in outside back Rocco Berry (19) and hooker Taniela Otukolo (18) alongside the only player among them with any NRL experience in middle forward Tom Ale, the senior player at 22 with just two first-grade games to his name.
Walsh, who joined the club in Terrigal a week ago, scored a try in his first outing for the club’s feeder club Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup on Sunday.
The established Vodafone Warriors-Melbourne Anzac Day fixture returns after being cancelled in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic last year.
The Vodafone Warriors head into the match sitting in eighth spot on the ladder with a three win-three loss record while the Storm, after losing two of their first three matches, are fourth on eight points.
The last time the two sides met on Anzac Day an injury-ravaged Vodafone Warriors pushed Melbourne all the way before losing 12-13 in contentious circumstances.
After holding an impressive record against the Storm for a number of years, the Vodafone Warriors have lost the last nine contests on end since winning 28-14 at Mount Smart Stadium in 2015.
WARRIORS v MELBOURNE STORM
6.15PM, Sunday, April 25, 2021
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)
2 DAVID FUSITU’A
3 MARCELO MONTOYA
4 JACK MURCHIE
5 KEN MAUMALO
6 KODI NIKORIMA
7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN
8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN
9 WAYDE EGAN
10 KANE EVANS
11 JOSH CURRAN
12 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA
13 TOHU HARRIS
14 JAZZ TEVAGA
15 BUNTY AFOA
16 LEESON AH MAU
17 BAYLEY SIRONEN
18 ROCCO BERRY
20 TOM ALE
21 REECE WALSH
22 TANIELA OTUKOLO
HEAD COACH | NATHAN BROWN
VODAFONE WARRIORS | 2021 SQUAD STATISTICS
|Player||Current club statistics||2021 NRL statistics||Career statistics (all clubs)|
|BUNTY AFOA (213)||69||4||0||16||5||0||0||0||69||4||0||16|
|EUAN AITKEN (251)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||122||39||0||156|
|TOM ALE (250)||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||0|
|LEESON AH MAU (147)||34||1||0||4||6||1||0||4||211||7||0||28|
|JOSH CURRAN (238)||6||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||7||0||0||0|
|WAYDE EGAN (240)||24||2||0||8||6||0||0||0||53||5||0||20|
|KANE EVANS (257)||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||119||8||0||32|
|ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (252)||4||1||0||4||4||1||0||4||101||14||0||56|
|DAVID FUSITU’A (189)||108||61||0||244||5||0||0||0||108||61||0||244|
|TOHU HARRIS (224)||56||7||0||28||6||2||0||8||173||25||8||116|
|CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA (233)||28||4||51||118||2||0||0||0||28||4||51||118|
|PETA HIKU (221)||68||18||0||72||4||0||0||0||149||52||3||214|
|ELIESA KATOA (242)||18||6||0||24||5||0||0||0||18||6||0||24|
|KARL LAWTON (229)||33||6||0||24||0||0||0||0||45||8||0||32|
|KEN MAUMALO (201)||101||38||0||152||6||2||0||8||101||38||0||152|
|MARCELO MONTOYA (256)||3||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||57||19||0||76|
|JACK MURCHIE (244)||16||3||0||12||3||0||0||0||19||3||0||12|
|BEN MURDOCH-MASILA (254)||6||2||0||8||6||2||0||8||64||9||0||36|
|KODI NIKORIMA (236)||39||8||37||105||6||2||18||44||125||30||37||193|
|SEAN O’SULLIVAN (255)||4||1||0||4||4||1||0||4||13||2||0||8|
|HAYZE PERHAM (235)||9||1||0||4||0||0||0||0||9||1||0||4|
|ADAM POMPEY (237)||23||10||1||42||5||3||0||12||24||10||1||42|
|BAYLEY SIRONEN (253)||4||2||0||8||4||2||0||8||28||4||0||16|
|JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN (241)||22||1||0||4||3||0||0||0||22||1||0||4|
|JAZZ TEVAGA (209)||75||5||0||20||6||0||0||0||75||5||0||20|
|ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (203)||100||28||1||114||6||2||0||8||184||56||1||226|
|PAUL TURNER (249)||3||1||0||4||2||1||0||4||3||1||0||4|