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Vodafone Warriors make forced front row change

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Lachlan Burr returns to the front row replacing suspended loan prop Jack Hetherington in the only change to the starting line-up for the Vodafone Warriors’ 14th-round NRL clash against competition leader Penrith at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Friday (6.00pm kick-off local time; 8.00pm NZT).

Since returning from a four-game injury-enforced absence, Burr has been impressive from the bench in the last three outings against the Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

The 27-year-old produced one of the best performances of his career in the 26-20 win over the Tigers when he made 150 metres from 17 runs plus 23 tackles in his 44 minutes on the field.

His elevation from the interchange sees Isaiah Papali’i named in the #17 jersey for his 58th career appearance after last being used in the gritty 10-18 loss to defending premiers the Sydney Roosters. Coming onto the extended bench is Josh Curran.

The Vodafone Warriors are back at their adopted home ground this week after picking up back-to-back away wins - their first on the road wins of the season - to have a share of 10th spot on the table on 10 points, four points out of the top eight.

The match against the Panthers presents the Todd Payten-coached side with an enormous challenge, Penrith coming to Gosford with a settled side and a club record-equalling run of eight straights wins after beating Canberra 28-12 last weekend.

When the sides last met on June 5 the Panthers prevailed 26-0, their sixth win in their last eight encounters with the Vodafone Warriors.

While the Vodafone Warriors have been without first-choice wingers Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a in their last two matches, replacements Patrick Herbert and George Jennings have been superb.

Against the Tigers, Herbert made 163 metres from 17 runs and Jennings 151 from 14 in his club debut. Last week Jennings ran 179 metres from 16 carries and Herbert 171 from 19 while the pair combined for three of the side’s five tries.

Fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been right up to his standards as well with returns of 279 metres against the Tigers and 218 against the Sea Eagles while Peta Hiku, used on both edges, has scored three tries plus making 124 metres and 114 metres; his try against Manly was the 50th of his career.

VODAFONE WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS

6.00pm, Friday, August 14, 2020

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Referee: Adam Gee

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c)

2 PATRICK HERBERT 3 ADAM POMPEY 4 PETA HIKU 5 GEORGE JENNINGS

6 KODI NIKORIMA 7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN 9 KARL LAWTON

10 LACHLAN BURR

11 ELIESA KATOA

12 TOHU HARRIS 13 JAZZ TEVAGA

Interchange:

14 WAYDE EGAN

15 ADAM BLAIR 16 DANIEL ALVARO

17 ISAIAH PAPALI’I

18 JACK MURCHIE

20 GERARD BEALE

21 ADAM KEIGHRAN

22 JOSH CURRAN

HEAD COACH | TODD PAYTEN

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