2 days ago
New Zealand Warriors Squad for Broncos.
It's "steady as she goes" at the New Zealand Warriors base this week as they prepare to host the No 2 side in the National Rugby League (NRL) with no over-reaction after dumping No 1.
The win over the competition-leading Bulldogs last weekend promises the rarity of a full house at Ericsson Stadium when they meet the Broncos on Sunday.
Another win would allow the Warriors to leap-frog the visitors on the table into second place and the chance to push for a home semifinal.
Yesterday it was business as usual for the Warriors, the same team who beat the Bulldogs named again to front Brisbane.
There'll be one slight difference in preparation with more emphasis on stopping the roll the big Brisbane forwards give their free-flowing backs.
"They're all massive," Warriors coach Daniel Anderson said of the biggest problem the team will face this weekend.
The acid will go on Jerry Seuseu to match the batter and barge of the man rated the world's best in the frontrow - Shane Webcke. On form this season, Seuseu is challenging Webcke for that title.
There will be some great match-ups across the park on Sunday - Broncos' Gorden Tallis against Ali Lauiti'iti, teenage sensation Brett Seymour versus the Warriors' Lance Hohaia and 100kg wingers Lote Tuquri and Francis Meli facing off.
But it will start up front and the Warriors have to stop the great Broncos roll, the ground they make from the kick-return and the next two plays as they set opposing teams on the back foot with quick play-the-balls before they go to the likes of Darren Lockyer, Tuquri and speedster Chris Walker.
"We have to stand up, match whatever they bring at us physically then throw some back at them," Anderson said. "Match them up front and make it a battle of skill."
The Warriors' approach for the Bulldogs had been to focus on their work rather than what the opposition would bring and that was again the build-up they would follow for this weekend. Little needed to be corrected after the 22-14 win at Ericsson last weekend.
"We were pretty sound in most facets of the game. It's a matter of maintenance this week," Anderson said.
Clinton Toopi looks likely to play on Sunday following good reports from medics on the hamstring that forced his late withdrawal from the Bulldogs game. Not considered due to injury were Richard Villasanti (knee) and Vinnie Anderson (foot).
The visitors have lost prop Andrew Gee, suspended a week for a careless high tackle during the loss to the Roosters. They are otherwise unchanged.
Anderson said the Warriors couldn't afford to target any one player.
"To do that you have to make plans to get that individual and that takes something off your own game. I'd rather let our guys loose with their skills," he said.
New Zealand Warriors: Ivan Cleary, Henry Fa'afili, John Carlaw, Clinton Toopi, Francis Meli, Lance Hohaia, Stacey Jones (captain), Jerry Seuseu, P J Marsh, Mark Tookey, Ali Lauiti'iti, Awen Guttenbeil, Kevin Campion. Interchange: Brent Webb, Justin Morgan, Wairangi Koopu, Logan Swann, Motu Tony, David Myles (two to be omitted).
Brisbane Broncos: Darren Lockyer, Lote Tuquri, Brent Tate, Michael DeVere, Chris Walker, Casey MacGuire, Brett Seymour, Shane Webcke, Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Gorden Tallis (captain), Carl Webb, Dane Carlaw. Interchange, Brad Meyers, Phil Lee, Corey Parker, Stu Kelly. 18th man, Shane Walker.