Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

League: Warriors eye sixth win on the trot

Michael Luck will hoping the Warriors can reverse their earlier loss to the Rabbitohs this season. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Michael Luck will hoping the Warriors can reverse their earlier loss to the Rabbitohs this season. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has named an unchanged starting line-up for this Sunday's 20th-round National Rugby League encounter against South Sydney.

The Warriors go into the away match in fifth spot with 24 points while the Rabbitohs are ninth on 20 points.

While Cleary has selected the same 17, he has added former Queensland State of Origin back rower Jacob Lillyman to the squad, replacing Sione Lousi who was 18th man for last Saturday's 13-6 win against the Melbourne Storm.

Lillyman had been sidelined with a foot injury since the April 25 loss to Melbourne, but returned to action for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup last weekend.

In beating the Storm, the Warriors made it five wins on end, a first for the club since 2003.

"While we've had a good run lately with some consistent performances, we face another major test against the Rabbitohs this week," said Cleary.

"They've got Sam Burgess, who has been in outstanding form this year, as well as David Taylor and Roy Asotasi in their pack and their backline is a really settled combination. They'll be absolutely desperate after being beaten late by the Dragons last week.

"Nothing changes for us. We still have to front up again this week and make sure we compete as well as we can to be in contention."

In the last six weeks, the Warriors have collected 12 points from five wins and a bye, beating Newcastle 32-24, the Sydney Roosters 20-18, Parramatta 35-6, Penrith 12-6 and Melbourne 13-6 to take a share of fourth spot after 19 rounds.

Sitting seventh on the NRL's try-scoring list is winger Manu Vatuvei, with 12 from 11 matches, giving him 41 in his last 47 matches and a career total of 70 in 105 appearances.

The team is:

Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Brent Tate, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Brett Seymour, Jesse Royal, Aaron Heremaia, Russell Packer, Simon Mannering (captain), Lewis Brown, Micheal Luck.

Interchange: Ian Henderson, Ben Matulino, Jeremy Latimore, Ukuma Ta'ai, Jacob Lillyman.

- NZPA

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