The New Zealand Warriors on Tuesday named an unchanged line-up for their National Rugby League eliminator against the Sydney Roosters in Auckland on Friday night.
Coach Ivan Cleary has retained the same squad that has taken the field for the Warriors’ last two matches, including the 18-15 upset over defending premiers Melbourne last Sunday in the first weekend of playoffs.
Cleary said his players faced a challenge with a turnaround of just five days.
“We’re also coming up against a side with plenty of threats,” he said.
“They gave us a touch-up earlier in the season. We saw just how good they were that day and we know we’ll have to bring our best game out if we’re to keep our season going.”
The Roosters won the only meeting between the sides in the regular season by 38-12 in Auckland.
They were made to travel back across the Tasman this week after losing to Brisbane 24-16 last Friday night.
At Mt Smart Stadium, lock Micheal Luck will be making his 150 NRL appearance, and his 74th for the Warriors.
He is also set to return to the top of the competition’s tackling statistics for the season, a position he relinquished when he was out for two weeks with injury last month.
With 35 tackles against the Storm, Luck took his total to 901, eight behind Parramatta’s Nathan Hindmarsh, whose season ended with the Eels failure to make the playoffs.
The New Zealand Warriors
Lance Hohaia, Aiden Kirk, Brent Tate, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Michael Witt, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki, Ian Henderson, Steve Price (captain), Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Micheal Luck. Interchange: Grant Rovelli, Evarn Tuimavave, Sam Rapira, Logan Swann.
Anthony Minichiello, Brent Grose, Setaimata Sa, Sia Soliola, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Mark O’Meley, James Aubusson, Lopini Paea, Nate Myles, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon. Interchange: Mickey Paea, David Shillington, Anthony Cherrington, Mitchell Aubusson.