Tag Archive: Lance Hohaia


Veteran fullback Lance Hohaia and skipper Simon Mannering make their first appearances as the Warriors roll out their strongest team, excluding Sam Rapira and Manu Vatuvei, in the fourth and final trial on Saturday. A scan cleared senior prop Rapira of structural damage to his heavily strapped wrist, which he injured while captaining the 30-0 win over Queensland Cup side Burleigh in Whangarei, the club’s third trial success last weekend. “He won’t play this week but he should be fine,” relieved coach Ivan Cleary said of his No.1 front-rower, who missed a large chunk of last season with a busted knee. Strike weapon Vatuvei will likely be preserved from a Manly Sea Eagles battering at North Harbour Stadium after pulling up ‘sore’ at training on Tuesday. That’s handy, as Cleary can test out undecided finishers. Continue reading

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Warriors trial positions, a closer look …

Vodafone Warriors standoff James Maloney will make his first appearance of the year in Saturday’s NRL trial against Queensland Cup side the Burleigh Bears at Whangarei’s Toll Stadium. After missing the Greymouth match against Newcastle, the club’s 2010 NRL Young Player of the Year was an original selection for last Saturday’s encounter with Parramatta in Rotorua, only to be ruled out through illness. Formerly with Parramatta and Melbourne, Maloney (24) had an outstanding 2010 season when he scored 188 points including 10 tries in his first full NRL campaign. It put him in contention for Dally M recognition and he was on the shortlist for the standoff of the year at the Rugby League International Federation’s awards announced at Eden Park last November. Maloney also won selection in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII which travelled to Port Moresby to play Papua New Guinea. Continue reading

With the finals almost upon us there maybe some coaches looking for options to strengthen their line up and give them an edge over their opposition. 

There is very little difference between the top teams in fact most of the top teams in the NEX and Dream Team share a lot of the same players across all key positions.   That makes it very difficult to get a win as the round 20 match up between the Sonors and the Cougars showed.  There was only 12 points separating them after both posted 800 plus scores.  

In the next two weeks I’ll review all the key positions and review a couple of players worth talking about.  Some of it will be old news but I’ll try and provide a different spin on it.  

The fullback’s will be the first position I’ll review.  The table explains it’s self with the last two columns looking at scores over 30.   Continue reading

Hohaia out, Ropati back at fullback

Jerome Ropati will again start at fullback for the Warriors in their 18th-round National Rugby League match against Penrith Panthers at Sydney on Sunday. He replaces regular fullback Lance Hohaia, who was again ruled out by a groin injury. The injury forced Hohaia to pull out at the 11th hour for the Warriors’ last outing against Parramata which the Warriors won 35-6 with Ropati also filling in at fullback. Hohaia was named for the Penrith match on Tuesday but didn’t train with the team today and was ruled out of making the trip to Sydney. Ropati’s shift to fullback results in Lewis Brown starting in the centres while coach Ivan Cleary is yet to confirm whether Sione Lousi or Ukuma Ta’ai will start in the second row with captain Simon Mannering.

Ah Van back for reshuffled Warriors backline

Back Patrick Ah Van will make his first National Rugby League (NRL) appearance of the season for the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday night in a reshuffled backline. The Warriors face Canberra in Auckland and coach Ivan Cleary today named Ah Van on one wing, allowing Brent Tate to revert to his usual spot at centre. Utility Lance Hohaia moves from five-eighth to fullback in place of Wade McKinnon, who drops to a five-man bench, while Joel Moon shifts from centre to the No 6 jersey. There is also a forced change in the starting forward pack, with Ben Matulino replacing Jacob Lillyman, who lasted only 16 minutes of the 6-40 loss to Melbourne on Sunday. Lillyman has been diagnosed with a foot fracture, which will leave him sidelined for six to eight weeks, and he joins an injury list that already includes other frontliners in Simon Mannering, Steve Price, Brett Seymour and Manu Vatuvei.

Round 1 Teams – Warriors named, no Mannering.

Based purely on pre season form Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has gone with Lance Hohaia ($218,500 HLV/FLB) at fullback ahead of Wade McKinnon ($109,400 FLB) for this weekend’s season opener against the Titans on the Gold Coast. “I had to make quite a few tough decisions and that was certainly one of them. They’re both more than capable of doing a good job. They’ll actually share that role through the game and Lance will play a little bit of dummy half at some point.” Micheal Luck ($335,400 2RF) will lead the side, with Simon Mannering ($245,000 2RF) still struggling with a hamstring injury.

Full team: 1 LANCE HOHAIA 2 KEVIN LOCKE 3 BRENT TATE 4 JEROME ROPATI 5 MANU VATUVEI 6 JAMES MALONEY 7 BRETT SEYMOUR 8 SAM RAPIRA 9 AARON HEREMAIA 10 RUSSELL PACKER 11 LEWIS BROWN 12 BEN MATULINO 13 MICHEAL LUCK (c)

Interchange: 14 WADE McKINNON 15 JEREMY LATIMORE 16 JESSE ROYAL 17 SIONE LOUSI 18 JOEL MOON

Where’s Willie ?

Willie Mason ($178,100 FRF/2RF) trial debut for the North Queensland has almost gone unnoticed except for his hulking frame and applause from the run on. Competing in the first half of the victory over the Queensland Cup team the Northern Pride, Mason failed to have an impact early dropping a couple of balls and generally being avoided by the Prides offence. A couple of hit ups in the second half against the Warriors gave Coach Neil Henry and DT Coaches an indication of what Mason might be capable of this season for the Cowboys. Playing under testing conditions, strong defence coupled with handling errors kept the scores tight for most of the match until late in the second half when the Warriors ran away with three tries to seal the win. “Credit to the Warriors. They seemed to have a bit more cohesion in their attack,” Henry said.”We were a bit disappointing with our attack.” The Cowboys were missing Jonathan Thurston ($268,600 HLV) a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness although Ray Thompson (Not Listed), Grant Rovelli ($159,500 HLV) and Aaron Payne ($237,500 HOK) all showed spark when in the role. Warriors mentor Ivan Cleary was also pleased with his sides pre season form, “A lot of players are playing well at this stage which is a pretty good sign. “I thought we got better as the game went on in terms of our direction and the way we wanted to play. Defensively, we were pretty strong.” Cleary also mentioned that Queensland Origin Star Brent Tate ($148,900 CTW) will more than likely make his return from injury next Saturday in Auckland.

NZ WARRIORS 28 (L Hohaia 2 A Heremaia P Ah Van B Tupou tries B Seymour K Locke R Packer S Johnson goals) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND 6 (O Geia try J Williams goal) at Barlow Park, Cairns.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it’s off to Cairns Lance goes!

Lance Hohaia ($218,500 HLV), Sam Rapira ($234,400 FRF) and Jerome Ropati ($173,100 CTW)- Warriors star trio will get a start this weekend when they meet the NQ Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday. All three missed out for a run last week against the Roosters in Rotorua, but Ivan Cleary confirmed they will run on in some stage through the match. Other starters that won’t see a run this weekend are captain Simon Mannering ($245,000 2RF), prop Steve Price ($271,400 FRF) and centre Brent Tate ($148,900 CTW) have again been left out while winger Manu Vatuvei ($141,300 CTW) will also miss the match. 2009 Junior Warriors — Shaun Johnson (73,600 HLV), Sione Lousi (Not Listed), Alehana Mara (Not Listed) and Bill Tupou (Not Listed)– who all impressed against the Roosters will get another shot to impress Coach Cleary this weekend also. Michael Luck ($335,400 2RF) is also named to start in the trial returning to the field where he made his NRL debut with the NQ Cowboys in 2001. Starting hooker Ian Henderson ($230,500 HOK) will also miss the trial with a knee injury sidelinging him for a few weeks, Hohaia, Aaron Heremaia ($130,400 HLV/HOK) and Mara providing extra options in the dummy half role. The squad is as listed –

Patrick Ah Van, Lewis Brown, Aaron Heremaia, Lance Hohaia, Shaun Johnson, Jeremy Latimore, Jacob Lillyman, Kevin Locke, Sione Lousi, Micheal Luck, Wade McKinnon, James Maloney, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Joel Moon, Russell Packer, Sam Rapira, Jerome Ropati, Jesse Royal, Brett Seymour, Bill Tupou.