Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
41 hours ago
The New Zealand Warriors have been hit with a mini-injury crisis with news on Wednesday Wairangi Koopu will be sidelined for up to two months and Motu Tony not expected back in action for four weeks.
Backrower Koopu had been expected to have recovered from a foot injury in time to take the field against the Parramatta Eels in round 19, but further diagnosis confirmed the worst and he may only be ready come playoff time.
"He's a very tough young man," coach Daniel Anderson told Bully Boy.
"He'd been hobbling around with what he said was a sore foot but when the extent of the injury was revealed, the doctor said it should have been giving him real grief for weeks."
Koopu has been in excellent form this season, while Tony's utility value that he gives the Warriors bench will place increased pressure on the club's resources.
Tony has also been in solid form of late and Anderson has preferred to use him, rather than rookie Brent Webb, as cover off the bench.
The double blow on Wednesday adds to a rising injury toll at the Auckland club that began at the very first match of the season when wing Shontayne Hape's season was ended within minutes.
Then club captain Monty Betham (knee) had his year wrecked in the third round.
Young up and comer Lance Hohaia missed last week's loss to the Sharks though injury, as did Kiwi international Logan Swann who is fighting for his future at the Warriors.
Francis Meli is nursing a knee injury, though the seriousness of the niggle was to be fully assessed in testing this week.
Thankfully, the Warriors, currently fourth, have the bye this weekend before resuming business against the Parramatta Eels at Ericsson Stadium next Sunday.