Team List Rd 15: Sharks vs Warriors - Luck is Back!

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Micheal Luck will end a frustrating 258-day wait between games when he makes his much-anticipated return in the Vodafone Warriors’ 15th-round NRL clash against Cronulla at Toyota Stadium on Saturday (7.30pm kick-off NZ time).
The 220-game veteran was today named on the bench in another fillip for the Vodafone Warriors just hours after their confidence-boosting 30-16 win over Penrith last night, only their second success on the road this season.
However, while there was positive news for Luck at last, there was another injury setback with hooker Alehana Mara ruled out for six to eight weeks after x rays last night revealed he had broken his right fibula in the opening minutes of the match.
Mara played on for a few minutes last night before utility Lewis Brown came on to take over in the dummy half role for the last 62 minutes of the match. Head coach Brian McClennan today named Brown to start at hooker against the Sharks with first-choice Nathan Friend still not available after breaking his jaw against Brisbane on May 5.
Luck, who hasn’t played since the club’s NRL grand final encounter with Manly on October 2 last year, was elated about being able to return for his 145th game for the club.
“It’s such a relief to be able to get out on the field after all this time,” he told www.warriors.co.nz today.
“The last few months have been hugely frustrating so just being back in full training with the boys has been exciting and to now have the chance at last to play again couldn’t be better. I can’t wait for Saturday night.”
McClennan said Luck’s dedication in his recovery had been exemplary.
“It’s a thrill for all of us knowing Lucky’s getting back on the field at last. He’s worked so hard for this chance after all the frustration he’s been through,” he said.
“At the same time, we’ve suffered more disappointment with Alehana getting injured just when he was getting a run of games. It’s really tough on him.”
Luck has had four operations since last October. He was initially booked in for post-season surgery to repair a severely damaged finger and also had another operation at the same time when it was discovered he’d broken his wrist in the grand final.
More surgery was needed right on Christmas after he aggravated a shoulder complaint which had troubled him for the best part of two seasons. While he was recovering from that, he suffered yet another setback in February when it was revealed his left wrist hadn’t healed properly, forcing him back into the operating theatre for a bone graft operation and a severely delayed start to his year.
Luck marked his 30th birthday on April 21 by telling his team-mates that he would retire at the end of the season rather than take up a new one-year contract with the Vodafone Warriors. He said he would return to Queensland after seven seasons with the club.
The champion back rower said today he was especially delighted his comeback coincided with a landmark event for young prop Ben Matulino (23), who will play his 100th NRL match on Saturday night, becoming the 20th player to reach the milestone for the club.
With his double against Penrith last night – and he was cruelly denied a third – giant winger Manu Vatuvei is on the cusp of becoming the first Vodafone Warriors player to score 100 tries. He now has seven this season and a career tally of 97 in 145 appearances.
Standoff James Maloney is also poised to crack a significant barrier, needing four points to become only the second player after Stacey Jones to score 500 points for the club. His 14 points last night lifted him to 102 points for the season, leaving him just behind 2012’s leading points-scorer Jarrod Croker (104). Maloney has topped three figures in each of his three seasons with the Vodafone Warriors.

VODAFONE WARRIORS v CRONULLA SHARKS
Toyota Stadium, Cronulla
5.30pm, Saturday, June 16
VODAFONE WARRIORS
1 KEVIN LOCKE
2 BILL TUPOU
3 BEN HENRY
4 KONRAD HURRELL
5 MANU VATUVEI
6 JAMES MALONEY
7 SHAUN JOHNSON
8 RUSSELL PACKER
9 LEWIS BROWN
10 BEN MATULINO
11 ELIJAH TAYLOR
12 SIMON MANNERING (c)
13 FELETI MATEO
Interchange:
15 STEVE RAPIRA
16 SIONE LOUSI
17 JACOB LILLYMAN
20 MICHEAL LUCK
HEAD COACH: BRIAN McCLENNAN

warriors.co.nz

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

yea boi welcome back Michael, and no Mara

 
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Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

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Erm, is Brown gonna play 80 minutes at hooker?
 
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Elijah taylor will be hooker cover, pretty sure
 
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Est95

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geez Brown 80min hooker, thats a big call. Hes been playing hooker what, 3 games off the bench? Everytime he comes on I feel we lose momentum. I would drop Lousi or Rapira and bring in Godinet. But thats what I said last week...
 
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So yeah, I'd say Taylor will relieve Brown at hooker. I'm looking forward to seeing Taylor in more of a ball-playing role; lately I've been getting tired of his one dimensional play.

And presumably Luck will come on for Taylor when Brown is benched.

This is certainly going to be interesting.
 
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Dankokoro 2.0

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umm not sure i like that.. can we please have some godinet?

The net change from last week is Luck in for Mara..

But welcome back Luck!!! Yeah boooiiiiii etc

But seriously, we need some more mobility in there.. Is it because Bluey doesn't want to drop anyone? elijah/Lousi obvious candidates in my eyes..
 
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Hitman82

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umm not sure i like that.. can we please have some godinet?

The net change from last week is Luck in for Mara..

But welcome back Luck!!! Yeah boooiiiiii etc
I would rather have Godinet starting, Brown on the bench, with Lousi playing as a prop and Rapira dropping out.

Actually maybe Luck will come on for Mateo.

This does provide some potentially disastrous interchange options for Mr. McClennan.
 
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umm not sure i like that.. can we please have some godinet?

The net change from last week is Luck in for Mara..

But welcome back Luck!!! Yeah boooiiiiii etc
TBH I don't know why people are calling for Godinet to play Hooker, when he has hardly ever played Hooker and has questionable defence, and good defence is just as important as ball delivery. I would like to see Browne clock up 40 tackles if he plays 80mins this week.
 
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Hitman82

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TBH I don't know why people are calling for Godinet to play Hooker, when he has hardly ever played Hooker and has questionable defence, and good defence is just as important as ball delivery. I would like to see Browne clock up 40 tackles if he plays 80mins this week.
Having Luck back in the team should make up for a slightly defensively weak hooker. But tbh, Godinet has a very good tackling style, he just lacks a bit of size.

Put it this way - Godinet's distribution, vision and kicking are 10x anything Brown has ever shown.

Despite getting the win, we still looked scrappy and directionless with Brown at hooker yesterday, and the previous two weeks our lulls have coincided with his introduction off the bench. The guy can run well and has massive enthusiasm, but he isn't a playmaker, and lacks basic vision for the role.

I'd rather have Luck babysitting Godinet around the ruck than have 80 minutes of hopeless ruck distribution.
 
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Dankokoro 2.0

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I would rather have Godinet starting, Brown on the bench, with Lousi playing as a prop and Rapira dropping out.
I thought Rapira outplayed Lousi.. he ran a couple of good lines, defended well and threw that beautiful ball to Mateo..
 
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I thought Rapira outplayed Lousi.. he ran a couple of good lines, defended well and threw that beautiful ball to Mateo..
On attack yes. He also fell off a couple of crucial tackles, one of which lead directly to a try. Rapira did throw that pass you mentioned though, and his attack will likely only improve.
Lousi is less dynamic on attack but will not let us down defensively. TBH, either of them is fine.
 
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Great to see Micheal back... Will be interesting to see what happens and who droppes down to the Vulcans when we have a fully fit hooker again... Either way I'm stoked to see Luck will be out on the paddock once again :)
 
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Est95

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TBH I don't know why people are calling for Godinet to play Hooker, when he has hardly ever played Hooker and has questionable defence, and good defence is just as important as ball delivery. I would like to see Browne clock up 40 tackles if he plays 80mins this week.
Godinet has played more hooker than Taylor! Seriously we need some spark at dummy half, Brown isnt going to provide it and certainly not Taylor. Godinet debuted at hooker and ripped up, his defence is okay, doesnt dominate tackles but hangs on well.
Brown and Rapira both made soft arm grab attempts on Walsh to let him set up Kingston, that was pretty piss poor defence. Im glad Luck is back, him and Taylor should take care of the ruck and let Godinet attack.
I just dont see how Brown and Taylor can be considered hookers when they are clearly 2nd rowers. Its like last years centre crisis, next week Mannering will start at hooker
 
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Having Luck back in the team should make up for a slightly defensively weak hooker. But tbh, Godinet has a very good tackling style, he just lacks a bit of size.

Put it this way - Godinet's distribution, vision and kicking are 10x anything Brown has ever shown.

Despite getting the win, we still looked scrappy and directionless with Brown at hooker yesterday, and the previous two weeks our lulls have coincided with his introduction off the bench. The guy can run well and has massive enthusiasm, but he isn't a playmaker, and lacks basic vision for the role.

I'd rather have Luck babysitting Godinet around the ruck than have 80 minutes of hopeless ruck distribution.
Sharkie seems to be getting into the swing of things now and had a good distribution game and although vision certainly is an asset, the Hookers that have good vision also have massive tackle counts and the ones that don't have vision but distribute very well also have massive tackle counts, also with the way SJ is kicking I wouldn't wan't to see our Hooker kicking. Your right about the lulls but they also coincide with Packer and Mutts being off the field.
 
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