General 2016 Warriors U20 NYC Grade

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,809
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
New faces aplenty for NYC opener
Richard Becht
Tue 1st March, 10:43PM
1456826106360.jpg

Hooker Sheldon Pitama leads the Vodafone Junior Warriors in their opening match of the 2016 NYC season. Image | www.photosport.nz


The Vodafone Junior Warriors will field nine debutants in the opening round of their 2016 NYC campaign against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday (3.15pm kick-off local time; 5.15pm NZT).

Of the line-up beaten one game short of the 2015 NYC grand final, just second rower Ofahiki Ogden and interchange forwards Mattais Heimuli and Tualima Tualima remain in the side named to face the Tigers.

Others with NYC experience are hooker and captain Sheldon Pitama – returning from a long injury lay-off – wings Lewis Soosemea and Levi McBirney, centre Junior Pauga and standoff Chris Sio (usually a hooker) while halfback Zion Ioka will make his Vodafone Junior Warriors debut after starting his NYC career with Melbourne last season.

Ogden is comfortably the most experienced with 40 NYC appearances in a side missing five of its most experienced players.

Prop Bunty Afoa, the club’s NYC player of the year last season, is out with injury while other eligible players are being used up a level, or two in the case of Nathaniel Roache who makes his NRL debut on Saturday. Ata Hingano, Marata Niukore and Erin Clark have all been chosen to play in the Vodafone Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership NSW side to take on the Illawarra Cutters on Saturday.

Debuting at fullback this week is Sacred Heart College product Kane Telea with centre Melino Fineanganofo the other first-time player in the starting backline. The other debutants are front rower Keanu Dawson and back rowers Joe Vuna and Isaiah Papalii plus Mose Esra, Kenese Kenese and Eddie Wulf on the interchange.

In the first round encounter with Newcastle last year, the Vodafone Junior Warriors had just four players making their debuts.

VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v WESTS TIGERS

Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

3.15pm, Saturday, March 05


VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 KANE TELEA

2 LEWIS SOOSEMEA

3 MELINO FINEANGANOFO

4 JUNIOR PAUGA

5 LEVI McBIRNEY

6 CHRIS SIO

7 ZION IOKA

15 MATTAIS HEIMULI

9 SHELDON PITAMA (c)

10 KEANU DAWSON

21 JOE VUNA

12 OFAHIKI OGDEN

13 ISAIAH PAPALII

Interchange:

8 TUALIMA TUALIMA

14 MOSE ESERA

16 KENESE KENESE

17 EDDIE WULF

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT
 
Last edited:

Jordan G

Guest
Anyone in the know want to give a brief rundown on who to look outfor/potential first graders?
 

ramraider78

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 24, 2012
1,631
Auckland , New Zealand
Suprised Sio is at 6 - Only seen him at Hooker or Loose; Interested to see what development Wright has done with that player TBH. A lot of Glenora juniors in there, should be interesting to see how they all gel together. Wright looks like he's putting his stamp on the team, be good to see how it plays out. Don't know Keanu Dawson but want to see him in action since he got the nod ahead of a few others at prop.
 

TheCool

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 18, 2013
1,736
Of the newcomers Melino Fineanganofo is one to look out for, he's still at school this year and starred for Auckland Grammar 1st XV last year, would of made the NZ secondary schools if he was old enough and would be one of the best high school rugby players in the country this year if he was playing.

Very interested to see how Kane Telea and Keanu Dawson go, big wraps on them both. Also not sure why its taken so long for Eddie Wulf to get a game been talk about him for years.

From the returning players, Lewis Soosemea and Ofahiki Ogden look like sure things for first grade in the future.
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,809
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Suprised Sio is at 6 - Only seen him at Hooker or Loose; Interested to see what development Wright has done with that player TBH. A lot of Glenora juniors in there, should be interesting to see how they all gel together. Wright looks like he's putting his stamp on the team, be good to see how it plays out. Don't know Keanu Dawson but want to see him in action since he got the nod ahead of a few others at prop.
Yeah surprised at that too. I like Chris. Really good player at hooker so it'll be interesting to see him in the halves. I reckon he has the skillset to play there. Good tag and touch player as well...
 

MeetTheMonster

Warriors Bench Player
Mar 2, 2016
117
The Globe
Better prospect than Brad Abbey???

Abbey is a very good player but he burnt out at the warriors. I think the mental side of Abbey is also his downfall, if he has a bad run his standards drop like a lead ballon. Telea has amazing anticipation of the game, he can move like a Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck but he knows how to position him self so brilliantly. I think its rare to find a player with the warriors who read plays and the field several moves ahead. I think he will go on to bigger things than Abbey.
 

Freddie Futler

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 10, 2013
2,235
Tauranga
Abbey is a very good player but he burnt out at the warriors. I think the mental side of Abbey is also his downfall, if he has a bad run his standards drop like a lead ballon. Telea has amazing anticipation of the game, he can move like a Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck but he knows how to position him self so brilliantly. I think its rare to find a player with the warriors who read plays and the field several moves ahead. I think he will go on to bigger things than Abbey.
Can he tackle, good defensive reads?
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,809
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Wests Tigers prevail in NYC clash
Sat 5th March, 07:30PM
1457178693914.jpg

Junior Warrior's Sheldon Pitama passes during a pre season Rugby League match. NSW Cup v Junior Warriors, Toll Stadium, Whangarei, New Zealand. Saturday 13 February 2016. Copyright Photo: Heath Johnson / www.Photosport.nz

Two Wests Tigers strikes early in the second half stymied the Vodafone Warriors’ hopes of a recovery in their season-opening NYC encounter on Saturday.

The Vodafone Warriors snared a 6-4 lead through a Junior Pauga intercept try in the first half before conceding a 6-10 halftime deficit.

They were right in the contest, though, only to falter in the opening stages of the second half when the Tigers went across twice to claim a 22-6 lead.

The Vodafone Warriors then checked the Tigers’ progress with a try to loose forward Isaiah Papalii and had a chance of grinding their wat back into the affair.

It wasn’t to be with the Tigers hanging tough to eventually win by 14 points.

Match details | Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney

Wests Tigers 26 (Esan Marsters 2, Veiru Mapesone, Ryland Jacobs, Daniel Peck tries; Veiru Mapesone 3 conversions).

Vodafone Warriors 12 (Junior Pauga, Isaiah Papalii tries; Zion Ioka 2 conversions).

Halftime: 10-6 Tigers.

Vodafone Warriors | Kane Telea; Lewis Soosemea, Melino Fineanganofo, Junior Pauga, Levi McBirney; Chris Sio, Zion Ioka; Mattais Heimuli, Sheldon Pitama (c), Keanu Dawson; Joe Vuna, Ofahiki Ogden; Isaiah Papalii. Interchange: Tualima Tualima, Mose Esera, Kenese Kenese, Eddie Wulf.

https://www.warriors.kiwi/content/warriors/club/news/2016/03/05/wests_tigers_prevail.html
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,809
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Changes for Vodafone Junior Warriors
Tue 8th March, 04:00PM
1457413391449.jpg

Mount Wellington junior Kane Telea again starts for the Vodafone Junior Warriors when they face Brisbane on Friday. Image | www.photosport.nz

The Vodafone Junior Warriors will take some line-up changes into their second-round NYC encounter with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night (5.50pm kick-off local time; 7.50pm NZT).

Both teams lost their opening matches, the Vodafone Junior Warriors losing 12-26 to Wests Tigers and Parramatta beating the Broncos 32-18.



VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v BRISBANE BRONCOS

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

5.50pm, Friday, March 11



VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS

1 KANE TELEA

2 LEWIS SOOSEMEA

3 JUNIOR PAUGA

4 MELINO FINEANGANOFO

5 LEVI McBIRNEY

6 EIDEN ACKLAND

7 ZION IOKA

8 ISAIAH PAPALII

9 SHELDON PITAMA (c)

10 KENESE KENESE

11 OFAHIKI OGDEN

12 JOSEPH VUNA

13 CHRIS SIO

Interchange:

14 TUALIMA TUALIMA

15 JEROME MAMEA

16 EDDIE WULF

17 KEANU DAWSON

COACH | KELVIN WRIGHT
 

Horriors2014

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 16, 2014
1,315
Very promising spine. I know Zion's family well. Went to school with the parents and church also. He and Kane along with Pitama should be a gun combo. I'm sure this team will improve with every outing. Our NYC team always takes a few rounds to get going. Especially this year with so many new faces.
 
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