Tag Archive: Sam Rapira


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

Rapira has scans on injured wrist

New Zealand coach Ivan Cleary will eagerly await the results of scans on prop Sam Rapira’s injured wrist.

Rapira suffered the injury while captaining the Warriors in Saturday night’s rugby league trial victory over Queensland Cup side Burleigh at Whangarei.

In a match originally scheduled to be against the Sydney Roosters, the Warriors cruised to a 30-0 win on the back of a double to nippy fullback Kevin Locke.

Recruit Krisnan Inu also found the tryline, while young outside back Glen Fisiiahi continued to impress the coaching staff by scoring yet another try.

But the biggest news was the wrist injury to Rapira, who sat on the bench for the bulk of the second half. Continue reading

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

Two matches out from the season opener, Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has no clearly defined role for star recruit Feleti Mateo, or at least that’s how he’s letting on. Cleary is a cool customer. He keeps his cards close to his chest. Very rarely does he openly disclose plans. He’s also a conservative. Take last year’s predominant halves pairing, Brett Seymour and James Maloney. They were solid – not spectacular, directing the ship while providing a level of comfort. Maloney was the standout Melbourne Storm rookie; Seymour the Cronulla Sharks, Brisbane Broncos bad boy who was curtailed by injury, during which time Isaac John staked a claim in reviving the 2010 season. Cleary now has options. Mateo is not the sort of player restricted with a positional label. He’s an out of the ordinary product whose ability lies in the back-row and five-eight; threatening the line both in the middle and on the edge. Continue reading

Warriors worry the Eels

Three second-half tries saw the Warriors beat Parramatta 24-4 in Saturday’s NRL trial match at Rotorua’s International Stadium on Saturday. Tries to Manu Vatuvei and new signing, former Eel, Krisnan Inu gave the Warriors a narrow 8-4 halftime lead, with second rower Taniera Lasalo crossing to pull one back for the Eels. Rookie Warrior Glen Fisiiahi impressed with a brace of tries in the second half, Lewis Brown scoring the last to give Ivan Cleary’s side an encouraging 20-point win. The Warriors were without James Maloney, out through illness, with Isaac John called in as a late replacement to partner former Junior Warriors captain Elijah Taylor in the halves. Continue reading

Sam Rapira could return this weekend

The Warriors will leave it late before deciding whether Kiwis prop Sam Rapira features in Saturday night’s NRL match against the Sharks in Cronulla. Rapira has returned to training after three months on the sidelines and is in contention to come into the Warriors playing side. Coach Ivan Cleary says a decision on whether Rapira plays or not will be made on game day. He says Rapira will travel with the squad and they will bring him into the side if he is ready. Cleary says they are conscious not to rush Rapira back too soon.

Possible early return for Sam Rapira

The Warriors have kept an unchanged starting lineup to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Sydney this weekend, but they may spring a surprise in the forward pack. Injured prop Sam Rapira has not been named in the squad, but prop Russell Packer says that could change. Packer says Rapira’s expected return next week is not set in stone and he has been doing the warm-ups with the team. Five straight wins from the Warriors have given them enough confidence to already start talking about the NRL finals. The team sits just outside the top four and a win in Sydney would boost their chances of securing a home playoff match.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary is eyeing the return of some heavy artillery to help boost the club’s run to the NRL finals. The Warriors medical staff, have told Cleary that props Sam Rapira and Jacob Lillyman and centre Brent Tate, should all be able to return for the round 19 match against the Melbourne Storm, but he says he usually takes the predictions with a grain of salt. “Personally I’ve almost got over that really. I’m not even worrying about the guys coming back. Obviously, pushing the medical department a bit and making sure they’re doing everything they can to get them back as quick as they can.” Cleary says halfback Brett Seymour should also return at some stage close to round 19.

The NZ Warriors is the other team to share the bye in round 14 with the Rooster. After round 7 I reviewed Michael Luck (2RF) @ $278,100.00 (42.70), Aaron Heremaia (HOK/Half) @ $174,600.00 (31.85) and Sam RAPIRA (FRF) @ $257,300.00 (40.30).  I’ll review those players again but there isn’t much else worth looking at across the ditch. 

 Michael Luck (2RF) @ $278,100.00, averaging 42.70.  Luck has played 5 games since round 7 with scores of 41, 39, 51, 38 and 38 and has now lost $57,300.00 from his starting price.  The good things are he has made 406 tackles in 10 games and only lost 34 in mistakes, 9 in the last 4 games.  The bad things are tackling is about all he does with only 56 points coming from two other areas.  If he doesn’t get 46 in his next game he will drop in value again.   There is nothing more I can add. Continue reading

Warriors move Moon to centres

Joel Moon returns to the centres to replace the injured Brent Tate for the New Zealand Warriors’ 14th round National Rugby League (NRL) match against Newcastle at Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday. Tate, 28, has been sidelined for four-6 weeks after breaking his jaw just three minutes into last Sunday’s 20-22 loss to St George Illawarra. Moon, 22, was recalled at standoff to replace the injured James Maloney for the loss to Wests Tigers on May 28 before returning to the Auckland Vulcans for their victory over Wentworthville in the New South Wales Cup last Saturday. Now he’s set to make his 10th appearance of the season and his 33rd for the club since arriving in Auckland for the 2009 season. Tate joined a casualty list that still includes Steve Price (heel), Jacob Lillyman (foot), Brett Seymour (leg), Sam Rapira (knee) and Elijah Taylor (knee). Also in the injury ward is utility Patrick Ah Van who, in his first game back from a broken jaw, suffered a knee injury playing for the Vulcans last weekend and is expected to be out of action for two to four weeks.