All the action as the New Zealand Warriors took on the Melbourne Storm.

Warriors' coach Stephen Kearney has made subtle changes to his lineup for Saturday's clash with the Melbourne Storm.

Adam Blair has been rewarded for a solid display in the 8-2 loss to the Broncos with a starting spot, with regular lock Lachlan Burr being relegated to the bench.

Prop Agnatius Paasi is back from a one game suspension, which means Bunty Afoa reverts to his normal impact role.


And front rower Chris Satae gets another chance to stake a claim at NRL level, after Ligi Sao incurred a suspension in the Canterbury Cup NSW Competition last Saturday for a careless high tackle.

In a Radio Sport interview yesterday, Kearney described Blair's performance against Brisbane as "his best of the season".

The 33-year-old looked like he had a point to prove, after being demoted to reserve grade the week before, and was full of intensity from the start.

He recorded 10 carries for 81 metres (both season highs) as well as 36 tackles with no misses. But it's the kind of effort that should be standard for a player of Blair's standing, and needs to become the norm.

Satae brings a strong physical presence (1.91m, 114kg) and is the big body many feel the Warriors are often lacking in their forwards equation. But he's yet to establish himself in first grade, with just one appearance this year and 14 since 2017. The 26-year-old showed glimpses of his potential with strong performances in wins over the Roosters and Broncos last year, as well as the 12-6 loss to the Storm in round 19. But it's reaching now or never time for the Glenora Bears junior, who needs to convince Warriors hierarchy of his value once thoughts turn to next season.

Paasi's return will be critical, as he has been the most consistent front rower at the club this year. He has topped 100 running metres on four occasions in 2019, and is also a non stop worker on defence, who has managed some critical stops. Paasi also crossed for crucial tries in each of his last two appearances, in the victories over the Dragons and Panthers.

Jazz Tevaga (ankle) wasn't considered for selection while Nathaniel Roache is also out of the equation with the lingering effects of a back injury sustained in the NRL Magic Round win in Brisbane.

The Storm are leading the competition with a 9-2 record, ranked ahead of South Sydney on points differential.


The Warriors haven't beaten Melbourne since 2015, with the Storm enjoying a run of seven consecutive victories including this year's slightly fortunate 13-12 success on Anzac Day.

Overall Melbourne holds a 25-16 advantage in head to head clashes between the two clubs (two draws), though the ledger is just 11-9 its way in battles at Mt Smart Stadium.


1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C)
2 David Fusitu'a
3 Peta Hiku
4 Patrick Herbert
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Kodi Nikorima
7 Blake Green
8 Agnastius Paasi
9 Issac Luke
10 Leeson Ah Mau
11 Isaiah Papali'i
12 Tohu Harris
13 Adam Blair


14 Lachlan Burr
15 Bunty Afoa
16 Chris Satae
17 Karl Lawton
18 Gerard Beale
20 Leivaha Pulu
21 Jackson Frei
22 Chanel Harris-Tavita