Warriors and Broncos out to drag themselves off bottom

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The Warriors and Broncos will look to drag themselves off the bottom of the NRL ladder tonight when they clash on Australia's Central Coast. The teams currently sit at 14th and 15th place respectively, only two points above the last-placed Bulldogs. 

The Warriors second loan player, Penrith Panthers prop Jack Hetherington, jumps straight into the game on the bench, with both the Panthers and Warriors coming to an agreement last Sunday for Hetherington to jump ship for the time being.  As the club's injury list grows, Hetherington's timing could not have been better. The 16-game prop will replace the first loan player from the Sydney Roosters, Poasa Faamausili, who has been recalled.

Winger David Fusitu'a returns after a head knock two weeks ago and will hit his all-important milestone of 100 NRL appearances tonight.

More noticeable, however, is the absence of captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as he completes his one-game suspension for a shoulder charge in last week's thrashing by the Melbourne Storm. Moving into his fullback position will be Peta Hiku.

Warriors coach Todd Payten says greater responsibility with fall on his players to cover for Tuivasa-Sheck's absence. "We're going to have to get our wingers to stand up. We're not going to change the game plan a great deal. Everyone that is around in the team will just have to provide more.

"We have made some tweaks to our attacking model, so there are some good positive moves there. In terms of our game plan without 'Rog', it doesn't change. It just needs to be better from everyone around him."

The Broncos are coming into the game off a 30-12 drubbing by the Titan's last weekend.

The Warriors v Broncos game kicks off at 7.30pm NZ time.

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

    BACKS: Peta Hiku, David Fusitu'a, Patrick Herbert, Gerard Beale, Ken Maumalo, Kodi Nikorima, Blake Green.

    FORWARDS: Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Wayde Egan, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Murchie, Tohu Harris, Adam Blair.

    INTERCHANGE: Chanel Harris-Tavita, Jack Hetherington, Karl Lawton, Isaiah Papali'.

    RESERVES: King Vuniyayawa, Adam Pompey.

    BRISBANE BRONCOS

    BACKS: Tesi Niu, Jamayne Isaako, Herbie Farnworth, Darius Boyd, Xavier Coates, Anthony Milford, Brodie Croft.

    FORWARDS: Payne Haas, Issac Luke, Thomas Flegler, Alex Glenn, Tevita Pangai Junior, Patrick Carrigan.

    INTERCHANGE: Tom Dearden, Rhys Kennedy, Ben Te'o, Corey Oates.

    RESERVES: Richard Kennar, Jamil Hopoate.