Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
New Zealand Warriors State of Origin player Kevin Campion is a possible starter for Saturday's NRL match against the Melbourne Storm, but coach Daniel Anderson will not be making a decision on whether he plays until after Wednesday's opening Origin match. Anderson has kept the same starting line-up as that which beat reigning premiers Newcastle last Friday but says he will wait until Campion undergoes a fitness test after Wednesday night's Queensland-New South Wales match before deciding if he is up to playing.
The Warriors, currently third-equal with last weekend's victim Newcastle, are gunning for their fifth straight win, and the team will take great heart from their 20-10 victory over the Storm in round seven when the two teams met at Ericsson Stadium.
Key playmaker Stacey Jones has resumed light training after suffering a knee injury and it is hoped he will be back playing in a couple of weeks, in the meantime Anderson will keep the same halves pairing that worked so brilliantly against the Knights.
Lance Hohaia stays at stand-off and Motu Tony at halfback for a crucial clash against the Storm's Scott Hill and Matt Orford.
The only change to the bench sees the re-introduction of prop Richard Villasanti, whose inclusion means there is no place for the rampaging Iafeta Palea'asina.
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS: 1. Ivan Cleary (c) 2. Henry Fa'afili 3. John Carlaw 4. Clinton Toopi 5. Justin Murphy 6. Lance Hohaia 7. Motu Tony 8. Jerry Seuseu 9. PJ Marsh 10. Mark Tookey 11. Ali Lauiti'iti 12. Awen Guttenbeil 13. Wairangi Koopu 14. Brent Webb 15. Richard Villasanti 16. Justin Morgan 17. Sione Faumuina.