NRL: Another win more important than milestone for Elliott

Warriors coach Matthew Elliott will mark his 250-game milestone as an NRL coach this weekend. Photo / Getty Images
Warriors coach Matthew Elliott will mark his 250-game milestone as an NRL coach this weekend. Photo / Getty Images

Matthew Elliott brings up his 250-game milestone as an NRL coach when the Warriors face the Roosters in Sydney on Sunday night but he's more interested in seeing his side continuing their three-game winning run than his own landmark.

The 48-year-old arrived at the Warriors with a career tally of 236 games as coach with Canberra and Penrith having earlier guided the Bradford Bulls for 125 games in England.
Today he named the same side originally selected for last Sunday's battle with Manly, with Kevin Locke returning at fullback from a hip flexor injury, Glen Fisiiahi back on the right wing and prop Russell Packer recovered from his sternum injury.

But with some concerns around these players, as well as captain Simon Mannering who reaggravated a calf injury, Elliott has named an extended seven-man bench.

Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Dominique Peyroux are again listed along with last Sunday's two replacements _ winger Ngani Laumape and prop Suaia Matagi - as well as front rower Charlie Gubb, who was used as 18th man against Manly.

"We're optimistic Kevin and Russell will both be ready for the Roosters,'' Elliott said.

"They're obviously important players for us but Ngani and Suaia did a terrific job coming in as replacements and Glen was outstanding, picking up the players' player of the day award.

"We'll see how we progress through the rest of the week.''

Both coaching staff and players valued Sunday's hard-earned 18-16 win over fourth-placed Manly as the club's most important so far, with Elliott describing it as the most meaningful because it was achieved against a quality side. But this weekend's looms as just as important given the Warriors have a bye the following week and want to continue the momentum they have established since their humiliating 62-6 defeat to Penrith three weeks ago.

The third-placed Roosters beat the Warriors 16-14 when the two sides met in the second round at Eden Park and since then have gone on to fashion a record of nine wins and three defeats.

Warriors side to play the Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, on Sunday (8.30pm NZT): 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, Ngani Laumape, Suaia Matagi, Charlie Gubb (three to be omitted).

- APNZ

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