Warriors name unchanged side for Preliminary Final

Publish Date
Wednesday, 20 September 2023, 7:51AM

An unchanged side has been named for the Warriors NRL preliminary final against the Brisbane Broncos this weekend.

Coach Andrew Webster earlier today announced the 17 players used in the 40-10 demolishing of Newcastle at Mt Smart on Saturday are all fit for the side’s biggest match since 2011.

Only on the extended bench has Webster made a change with rookie centre Ali Leiataua included for middle forward Tom Ale.

The Warriors are in a preliminary final for the fifth time in the club’s history, 12 years after their last in 2011 when they beat Melbourne 20-12 to reach the grand final for the second time.

In their previous grand final qualifiers, they beat Cronulla Sutherland 16-10 to reach the 2002 grand final, lost to eventual premiers the Penrith Panthers 20-28 in 2003 and 6-32 to Manly Warringah in 2008 before the Sea Eagles trounced Melbourne 40-0 in the grand final.

All you need to know ahead of the NRL preliminary final match between the Warriors and Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

How the sides line up...

1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3 Rocco Berry
4 Adam Pompey
5 Marcelo Montoya
6 Te Maire Martin
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Addin Fonua-Blake
9 Wayde Egan
10 Mitchell Barnett
11 Jackson Ford
12 Marata Niukore
13 Tohu Harris (c)

14 Dylan Walker
15 Jazz Tevaga
16 Bayley Sironen
17 Josh Curran

Head coach
Andrew Webster

1 Reece Walsh
2 Jesse Arthars
3 Kotoni Staggs
4 Herbie Farnworth
5 Selwyn Cobbo
6 Ezra Mam
7 Adam Reynolds
8 Thomas Flegler
9 Billy Walters
10 Payne Haas
11 Kurt Capewell
12 Jordan Riki
13 Patrick Carrigan

14 Tyson Smoothy
15 Brendan Piakura
16 Kobe Hetherington
17 Keenan Palasia

Kevin Walters

Match Officials
Referee: Gerard Sutton
Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Who, what when?
What’s on: Warriors v Broncos
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
When is kick-off time? 9.50pm Saturday NZT
What’s on the line? After the confusion of elimination, qualifying and semi-finals - it’s simple now. Win and you play in the grand final.

Talking points
Shaun Johnson is less of a talking point this week after his dazzling performance against the Knights. His calf is healed to the point at which he can play - whether he is 100% fit won’t stop him from taking the field - in his words “you can’t miss it”. From one star of the game to another, we arrive at Reece Walsh. His transition from up-and-comer to genuine superstar has been a thing of beauty for Broncos fans this season, perhaps less so for the Warriors faithful. It’s a quality conversation starter this week - does Walsh sink the Warriors’ hopes? Or does the club that gave him his first real go in the NRL get one back after he decided not to commit to New Zealand permanently? Another former Warrior - that term is used with a certain degree of editorial license as he never signed a contract with the club, rather trialled as a teenager - is Payne Haas. He and Addin Fonua-Blake are the front runners for the NRL’s best prop this year and Saturday will be an epic battle of the big units.

The weather
22C, mostly fine with a smattering of clouds is forecast for Brisbane. A low of 13C is expected during the evening.

TAB odds
Warriors: $3.65
Broncos: $1.27

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission

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