Category: Warriors


Glen Fisiiahi forced out due to concussion

Winger Glen Fisiiahi has been forced out of the Warriors’ NRL clash Wests Tigers in Sydney on Saturday night. Fisiiahi, named in the side on Tuesday, has been ruled out with concussion and has been replaced by Kevin Locke. “We were set on Glen playing but he took a heavy knock against Parramatta last week and he hasn’t been passed fit to play after failing a concussion test,” Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said. “He’ll be back for sure but now Nobby (Locke) has his first chance of the season.” Fisiiahi, a star in the Junior Warriors’ last season, became the 163rd player to represent the Warriors when he made his debut in the 18-24 loss to Parramatta last week but he struggled under the high ball.

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GUILTY! The Judiciary Fallout

The NRL judiciary has been given the night off this week with all six players charged by the match review committee taking the early guilty plea on Tuesday. Manly co-captain Jason King, Canberra prop Brett White, Warriors five-eighth James Maloney and Cronulla hooker Paul Aiton will all sit out one game, while Matt Bowen and Luke Walsh are both free to play. King’s absence, for a knee lift in last weekend’s loss to Melbourne, leaves the Sea Eagles without a skipper with Jamie Lyon out for a month with a hamstring strain. White’s absence has opened the door for Josh Miller to come into Canberra’s squad, while young gun Isaac John replaces Maloney in the Warriors No.6 jumper.

For the next 26 weeks of the NRL Dream Team Competition, I’ll be reviewing the rounds top performers.  To make it in this list each week a player must have a season average of 45 or more and score 50 points or more in the review round.  Mid season, I’ll review the top performers in all the key positions using a different criteria for each position.

There were mixed results across the board in round 1, a few players ventured into the 40’s but only eight broke into the 50’s.  Some high priced stars were disappointing – Corey Parker, Nathan Hindmarsh and Paul Gallen and on the other side of the coin Ashley Harrison (62) and Aiden Tolman (60) were exceptional – the only players in the round to break 60 and for Ashley Harrison, the only Titan to break 40. 

Johnathan Thurston returned to Dream Team form; scoring 55 points and no doubt will make the Cowboys faithful very happy.  It was a case of what could have been though – JT loosing 16 points from mistakes, the worst from the Top Performers.  Continue reading

Medical scans have confirmed Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has medial ligament damage and will be on the sideline for up to eight weeks. The club’s record try scorer was forced off the field just 14 minutes into Saturday night’s NRL season-opener against Parramatta after his opposite Etuate Uaisele halted him with a torpedo-like tackle. Uaisele’s head collided with Vatuvei’s right knee, bringing an early end to the match for him. The initial prognosis on Saturday night pointed to Vatuvei being out of action for six to eight weeks with medial ligament damage. “The scans confirmed our initial assessment,” said Warriors doctor John Mayhew. “Surgery isn’t required and it should be possible for Manu to return in about eight weeks.” Vatuvei broke an arm while playing for the Kiwis against England in the Four Nations competition in October. He was philosophical tonight about the setback. “I’m down on myself, but that’s how it goes in this game sometimes. There’s nothing I can do about it. “I just have to look after the injury and hopefully come back stronger. In the meantime, I’ll be there doing the best I can to support the boys. Continue reading

The NRL Match-Review committee today laid six charges from the weekend games; Brett White, Jason King, Matt Bowen, James Maloney, Paul Aiton and Luke Walsh all having cases to answer. Sharks Paul Aiton is facing two weeks on the sidelines after he was charged with an alleged heat butt on Raiders Joel Thompson. Aiton will miss one week if he pleads guilty, or could face two weeks if he fights the charge and loses. Canberra’s Brett White and Manly’s Jason King could both miss a week of football after being charged with Grade 1 dangerous contact for lifting knees while running with the ball. Matt Bowen is facing a Grade 1 dangerous contact charge for sliding in with the feet on Broncos Matt Gillett, but will avoid suspension if he takes the early guilty plea. Warriors five-eighth James Maloney could miss his side’s clash with the Wests Tigers after he was charged for dangerous contact on Jarryd Hayne. Panthers halfback Luke Walsh has been charged with a high tackle on Knights James McManus, but will not miss the Round 2 clash with Parramatta. Continue reading

Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen will today come under scrutiny from the NRL match review committee for lashing out with his foot to try and stop a try in Friday night’s 16-14 defeat of the Broncos. Bowen was not put on report, but the 56th minute incident was flagged for review after he twice tried to use his boot to stop Brisbane utility Matt Gillett grounding the ball. Gillett managed to get across the tryline, but was penalised for a double movement in a crucial call by match officials as the Broncos were trailing 16-10 at the time. The incident is one of several that will be studied closely today by the NRL match review panel to determine whether contact was made, including allegations of lifting knees against Manly prop Jason King and Canberra’s Brett White. Warriors halfback James Maloney also faces an anxious wait to learn whether he is charged over an early tackle on Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne while he was fielding a kick during the Eels 24-18 win at Eden Park on Saturday night. Continue reading

Manu Vatuvei suffers knee ligament injury

The Warriors suffered a massive blow when giant winger Manu Vatuvei limped from the field midway through the first spell with a medial ligament knee injury after being tackled at full pace by his opposite Etu Uaisele. A stellar performance from Parramatta veteran Luke Burt was a highlight, as the winger scored two tries and kicked four goals to rack up 16 points as the Eels overcame a hostile Eden Park crowd to give new coach Stephen Kearney a debut win for the club. Despite going into the match as rank outsiders, Parramatta got off to a perfect start as his side upstaged the pre-game favourites with four tries to three. The Eels may only be a season removed from a grand final appearance but gone was the flamboyance of 2009, replaced with a more methodical and intelligent style of football employed under Kearney’s guidance. Parramatta preyed on Warriors mistakes and employed a simple philosophy of holding onto possession and using fullback Jarryd Hayne’s huge boot to turn the home team around. The Warriors’ best attacking weapon’s knee buckled with the impact and his night was over. Continue reading

Krisnan Inu dropped, Cleary confident in new faces

Warrior fans will today be asking why their $300,000 star signing is this weekend making his regular season debut for the club at Leichhardt Oval in the NSW Cup.The Warriors were also struggling to explain why smiling assassin Krisnan Inu – one of the highest-profile club hoppers in the off-season – was yesterday demoted to play for the Auckland Vulcans against Wentworthville on Saturday. It came as Warriors coach Ivan Cleary alluded to an incident behind closed doors that is understood to have had a negative bearing on the 23-year-old New Zealand international’s chances of winning a spot in the Warriors’ top 17. “He knows what he did and that will stay between us,” Cleary said yesterday. The Warriors mentor refused to comment on the club’s team selection process, but did defend his decision to promote rising star Glen Fisiiahi at Inu and Kevin Locke’s expense. Continue reading

1. Anthony Mitchell (Eels) – The Eels have struggled to find a regular dummy-half in recent years but with the emergence of 21-year-old Anthony Mitchell in late 2010 their search could soon be over. The highly-rated young hooker boasts all the skills – lightning service, a crisp passing game and speed off the mark. Likely to be part of a three-man rotation for the Eels this year, he will battle for the No.9 jersey with Matt Keating and new arrival Casey McGuire but the general consensus is that the hooking spot will become his alone in the long term. Mitchell played three games for the Eels at the back end of the 2010 season, scoring two tries, and was selected in the Indigenous All Stars side earlier this year.

2. Siuatonga Likiliki (Knights) – Boasting one of the greatest names in rugby league history – right up there with the likes of former Bronco Steele Retchless and South Sydney’s Bronco Djura – Siuatonga Likiliki made a name for himself playing for the Warriors’ premiership-winning Toyota Cup side last season when he scored 19 tries in 25 games. Now with Newcastle, the 20-year-old speedster already has tongues wagging in the Hunter where he will join Akuila Uate in a lightning-fast backline. A Junior Kiwis representative in 2010, Likiliki was named in both the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year. Continue reading

Warriors trio debut

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will hand 20-year-old Glen Fisiiahi his NRL debut against the Parramatta Eels at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday night. Joining Fisiiahi in their first appearances for their new club are experienced new signings Feleti Mateo and Shaun Berrigan, with Mateo named in the second row against his former team-mates, while ex-Brisbane utility Berrigan has been picked on the interchange bench. The match will be the first Warriors home game in Auckland played away from Mt Smart Stadium since the club was formed in 1995. Fisiiahi, new signing Krisnan Inu, Kevin Locke and Bill Tupou were all in contention for the right winger’s spot throughout last month’s trial matches, with Fisiiahi ultimately rewarded for his form just months after excelling for the Junior Warriors when they won the 2010 NYC grand final. Continue reading