Minor premiership hopes in the balance
Saturday 25 August 2012 10:37 AM
A second successive NYC minor premiership title is now hanging in the balance for the Vodafone Junior Warriors after Canterbury-Bankstown stunned Canberra 46-12 last night to go to the top of the table.
The Raiders went into the penultimate round of the regular season leading by a point from the Bulldogs and the 2010-2011 premiership-winning Vodafone Junior Warriors.
With the Raiders playing at home there was hope they would win followed by the Vodafone Junior Warriors accounting for St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium in today’s 25th-round clash at WIN Stadium (5.15pm kick-off NZ time).
That would have set up a decider for the minor premiership between the Vodafone Junior Warriors and Canberra at Mount Smart Stadium next Sunday (September 02).
That theory was destroyed as the rampant Bulldogs stormed to success at Canberra Stadium last night, taking them to 37 points with the Raiders on 36. The Dogs’ points for and against difference is also markedly superior (plus 249 to the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ plus 150).
So if the Vodafone Junior Warriors are to retain the minor premiership they must beat St George Illawarra, hope the Sydney Roosters beat the Dogs at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night (or draw with them) and then take care of the Raiders the following day. The Roosters are lying sixth at the moment and face the fourth-placed Wests Tigers tomorrow.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors are set to take a reasonably settled line-up into tonight’s contest at WIN Stadium.
The backline named earlier this week was the same as the one used in last Sunday’s 18-16 win over Penrith. In a change to the starting forward pack, Siulongoua Fotofili was listed to partner Ligi Sao up front. Fotofili was named the players’ player of the day after his exceptional effort off the bench against the Panthers when he ran a game-high 22 times making 175 metres.
The Dragons are seventh on the table going into the match (29 points) and are desperate to win to retain their spot inside the top eight.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
3.15pm, Saturday, August 25
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS
1 OMAR SLAIMANKHEL
2 VILIAMI LOLOHEA
3 NGANI LAUMAPE
4 NGATAUA HUKATAI
5 DAVID FUSITUA
6 PETA HIKU
7 MASON LINO
8 LIGI SAO
9 SILIVA HAVILI
10 SIULONGOUA FOTOFILI
11 JOHN PALAVI (c)
12 SIO SIUA TAUKEIAHO
13 DAVID BHANA
14 TRENT BISHOP
15 NATHANIEL PETERU
16 ALBERT VETE
18 ATU TUPOU
20 TOKA LIKILIKI
21 BRAXTON STANLEY
COACH: JOHN ACKLAND