Addin Fonua-Blake will be the Warriors captain next weekend. Photo / Photosport
The Warriors will have another significantly disqualified line this weekend, following Sunday’s injury defeat to the Panthers.
They lost four front-line players before Saturday’s clash with South Sydney (17:00 NZT), reducing the already slim chance of arresting their current losing streak.
Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (concussion) and center Rocco Berry (hamstring) were ruled out, as were second rowers Tohu Harris (knee) and whore Wayde Egan (shoulder).
Harris, Tuivasa-Sheck and Egan were forced into the first half of the field last Sunday, while Berry was out of the game in the 36th minute.
Harris will only be back next year after an ACL injury, while Egan was also able to leave for the season, although the extent of his shoulder injury is still being assessed.
Harris, who was the player of the season in 2020, is an enormous loss. Aside from his handy attacks, Harris offers a workload on both sides of the ball that can replicate a few and he is one of the core leaders of the selection.
Egan’s absence is also critical, as the only specialist whore with NRL experience in the selection.
It is not yet known when Tuivasa-Sheck and Berry will be available to return.
The absence of Tuivasa-Sheck – the first game he has missed this season – means prop Addin Fonua-Blake will be captain of the side.
Kodi Nikorima returns to the halves after being used as a substitute last Sunday, while Adam Pompey comes in the back line for Berry.
Jazz Tevaga will fill Egan’s crucial role No. 9, with Josh Curran back on lock, while Jack Murchie is named as Harris’ replacement.
Rookie hooker Taniela Otukolo was able to make his second NRL appearance, appearing on the bench alongside Bunty Afoa, Leeson Ah Mau and Eliesa Katoa.
Ben Murdoch-Masila, who was a striking off-season recruiter, remains out of favor. The Tongan international made a strong impact in the first half of the season, but was poor in recent losses to the Dragons and Sharks.
Kane Evans has been named as the 18th man, but the club is awaiting news of possible NRL sanctions after the prop was filmed with an obscene message on his wristband in Sunday’s game.
“That writing was not appropriate, the words that were on that strapping,” NRL head of football clip games Graeme Annesley said Monday.
“It will be dealt with by the executive. It is currently being looked at. There have been precedents on how this type of case has been handled in the past. It will be considered in conjunction with the type of action it is taking. has been and potentially discredited the game. “
The Warriors have lost eight of their previous nine games.
The club’s final victory came on May 21 against the Tigers. Since then, it has dropped six straight – including one point loss to the Cowboys and Dragons – to tumble out of the battle for the top eight.
The team showed admirable spirit against the Panthers, but dropped to 14th place on the NRL ladder, ahead of the Broncos and Bulldogs, in what looks like a memorable campaign.
WARRIORS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
5pm (NZT), Sunday 24 July 2021, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Queensland
Warriors: Reece Walsh, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Adam Pompey, Euan Aitken, Marcelo Montoya, Kodi Nikorima, Chad Townsend, Addin Fonua-Blake (c), Jazz Tevaga, Matt Lodge, Jack Murchie, Bayley Sironen, Josh Curran. Change: Taniela Otukolo, Eliesa Katoa, Bunty Afoa, Leeson Ah Mau, Kane Evans, Edward Kosi, Sean O’Sullivan, Ben Murdoch-Masila.