NRL: Warriors name unchanged side to face Manly

Manu Vatuvei runs the ball up for the Warriors. Photo / Getty images
Manu Vatuvei runs the ball up for the Warriors. Photo / Getty images

It was probably one of the easiest sides for Warriors coach Matt Elliott to pick and he predictably named the same 17 that thrashed Brisbane last night to tackle Manly at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.

It doesn't mean it will be the one that plays against the Sea Eagles - each club are required by the NRL to name their team on a Tuesday - because it was less than 24 hours after their stunning 56-18 defeat of the Broncos and even before they had returned to Auckland to get a handle on where some players are with injuries.

Todd Lowrie (ribs) and Pita Godinet (back) might come into the equation but Elliott would be loathe to make too many changes to a side who performed so well at Suncorp Stadium. He also added prop Suaia Matagi onto an extended five-man bench and included Russell Packer, who drew a A$15,000 fine for the club from the NRL for urinating on the pitch at Suncorp Stadium prior to the match last night.

The 10-try victory over the Broncos was the club's first away win since beating Gold Coast in July last year and was also its biggest winning margin in three years, the 38-point difference coincidentally eclipsing the previous 32-point record wins against Brisbane in 2010 (48-16 and 36-4). The club's overall record win was the 66-0 victory over South Sydney in 2006.

With four of the backs - Manu Vatuvei, Konrad Hurrell, Glen Fisiiahi and Thomas Leuluai - scoring doubles, the Warriors achieved their first back-to-back successes in almost a year following on from the 28-12 win against Newcastle on May 26.

It was only the third time in nine visits that they'd won at Suncorp Stadium but they now an even tougher assignment in Manly.

The Warriors haven't beaten the Sea Eagles since Stacey Jones made his comeback appearance at Brookvale Oval in 2009 and Manly, who are fourth on the table, have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the two clubs.

"They're exceptionally difficult opponents. They challenge every side they play,'' said Elliott, who is preparing for his 249th match as an NRL coach. ``We showed last night what we're capable of and I'm confident we can test any side. What we need to do now, though, is to deliver that level of performance consistently over a long period of time.''

Warriors team to play Manly at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, on Sunday (4pm): Kevin Locke, Glen Fisiiahi, Dane Nielsen, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Elijah Taylor. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Dominique Peyroux, Suaia Matagi (one to be omitted).

- APNZ

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