Late changes for Vodafone Junior Warriors
Saturday 11 August 2012 5:20 PM
Vodafone Junior Warriors coach John Ackland has reshuffled his line-up for tonight’s 23rd-round NYC clash against North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville.
Fullback Peta Hiku has been moved to standoff instead of Jordan Meads, who was originally named to start in No 6, with winger David Fusitua going to the custodian’s role.
Centre Ngataua Hukatai shifts to the wing with Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard joining Ngani Laumape in the centres.
In his comeback appearance from a long injury lay-off Sio Siua Taukeiaho starts in the second row while the confirmed bench is Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Trent Bishop, James Taylor and Siulongoua Fotofili.
Prop Ligi Sao and back rower David Bhana have been rested tonight.
Sao is the only player to have appeared in each of the team’s 20 matches up to and including last Sunday’s heavy defeat by Cronulla. He ranks sixth among all NYC players for the most runs (294) and also sixth for most metres gained (2728), playing an average 66 minutes a game.
Bhana, who has missed only one game, has been easily the busiest defender in the competition, making 749 tackles (almost 100 more than his nearest challenger) or an average of close to 40 tackles a match. He has also played big minutes, close to 74 a game.
Despite last week’s 10-40 loss to the Sharks, the Vodafone Junior Warriors still hold a one-point lead in the minor premiership race going into their match against the Cowboys. The same two sides met in last year’s NYC grand final but, while the Vodafone Junior Warriors have maintained their record in the competition, the Cowboys have fallen away this year to lie 13th on the ladder.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
5.15pm, Saturday, August 11
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
2 DAVID FUSITUA
4 NGATAUA HUKATAI
3 NGANI LAUMAPE
18 ADAM TUIMAVAVE-GERRARD
5 TOKA LIKILIKI
1 PITA HIKU
7 MASON LINO
8 ALBERT VETE
9 SILIVA HAVILI
10 NATHANIEL PETERU
16 SIO SIUA TAUKEIAHO
12 JOHN PALAVI (c)
13 MICHAEL SIO
11 RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER
14 TRENT BISHOP
15 JAMES TAYLOR
20 SIULONGOUA FOTOFILI
COACH: JOHN ACKLAND