General Team named against Panthers; Evarn dropped; Rapira promoted

warriors4life_old

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From www.warriors.co.nz

Rookie front rower Sam Rapira has earned promotion to the Vodafone Warriors’ first-choice line-up for their NRL encounter with Penrith at CUA Stadium on Saturday night.

In his first four appearances for the club, the 19-year-old Waikato product came into the side three times when captain Steve Price was on State of Origin duty and the other time as a late replacement for Awen Guttenbeil against Cronulla.

But today head coach Ivan Cleary included Rapira on merit for the Penrith trip ahead of Evarn Tuimavave who appeared in the Vodafone Warriors’ previous 18 games.

“It’s a selection based on form,†said Cleary.

“Evarn hasn’t quite been at the level we’ve seen from him for much of the season and Sam has impressed us each time we’ve used him as well as with his efforts at training and for Waicoa Bay in the Bartercard Cup.

“It’s fair reward for Sam and he deserves this. At the same time, we know what Evarn is capable of and his challenge now is to rediscover that form.â€Â

Last week Rapira signed an upgraded contract that will keep him at the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2009 NRL season.

Tuimavave is now set to join the Auckland Lions for their Bartercard Cup match against the Counties Manukau Jetz next Monday night.

Also coming back into the line-up for the Penrith match is fullback Brent Webb. He was a last-minute defection from the July 15 encounter against Parramatta with injury.

Together with loose forward Sione Famuina, Webb will make his 99th first-grade appearance on Saturday night leaving both players set to bring up their 100th matches in the home game against Cronulla on August 5. That also doubles as Guttenbeil’s testimonial match.

With Tuimavave missing the trip, the Vodafone Warriors are now down to five players who are poised to extend their record of playing every game so far this season – centre Tony Martin, halfback Grant Rovelli, hooker Nathan Fien and back rowers Micheal Luck and Wairangi Koopu.

After two tight losses to the Bulldogs and the resurgent Parramatta Eels, Cleary is demanding an improvement in execution against the Panthers.
“The effort levels have been outstanding for the best part of two months now,†he said.

“From the match against Brisbane on, the players have been consistent in that area but against the Eels it was our execution which wasn’t on the mark. We need it to be against the Panthers.

“We haven’t won there since 2002 but if we can get back to the level we were at a few weeks ago we’ll give ourselves a chance. Anything less and we’ll battle.â€Â

The Panthers have lost centres Luke Lewis (knee) and Danny Galea (shoulder) to injury but Cleary doesn’t read anything into that.

“They didn’t have Craig Gower when we played them at home a few weeks ago but he’s back now. And they’ve still got a decent set of forwards so I don’t see them being weakened much at all.â€Â

Tony Archer will referee a match involving the Vodafone Warriors for the first time this season.

VODAFONE WARRIORS V PENRITH PANTHERS

CUA Stadium, Auckland

5.30pm(AEST), Saturday, July 29, 2006

Referee: Tony Archer

Vodafone Warriors Team:

1. Brent Webb
2. Patrick Ah Van
3. Tony Martin
4. Simon Mannering
5. Manu Vatuvei
6. Jerome Ropati
7. Grant Rovelli
8. Ruben Wiki
9. Nathan Fien
10. Steve Price (c)
11. Awen Guttenbeil
12. Louis Anderson
13. Sione Faumuina

14. George Gatis
15. Sam Rapira
16. Wairangi Koopu
17. Micheal Luck
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
I feel for Evarn but glad Rapira is getting another shot at first-grade.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
Yeah good for sammy rapira. To be honist though i didnt think evarn was doing to bad though
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Glad to see Sam getting another choice, top work to the guy. And hmm Hohaia still missing again...but yah! Webby's back!!!
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
I'm happy with that line up. Form beats reputation, in my book, so if Rapira is indeed performing well enough in the lower grades and at training to leapfrog Tuimavave, I'm all for it.

It also means more competition for spots, so both players will be training out of their skins to beat each other to the bench. ;)
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
It also means that in 2008 when Rapira is suddenly a starting prop, he'll have played 11 games instead of 10.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
Good for Rapira, i'd like to hope what i have seen from him isn't his best because i think his performances have been very ordinary so far. But i'll give the kid credit for stepping up to the mark and hope he grabs on to this with both hands. Good luck sammy boy
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Jesbass said:
It also means more competition for spots, so both players will be training out of their skins to beat each other to the bench. ;)

Definitely, and there's nothing like a little competition to bring out the best in players too.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
Unfortunatly as soon as Evarn was resigned he went back to average which is sus as. I hope we do see the talented Evarn again soon because when he puts his mind to it he is one hell of a forward but in the mean time Sam has his chance. He was very solid in his first 2 games this year but against the Panthers he started losing his cool. I think he just needs more exposure to 1st grade & i think Clearys done the right thing by promoting him for better effort than his counterpart.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
ToiletDuck said:
It also means that in 2008 when Rapira is suddenly a starting prop, he'll have played 11 games instead of 10.

Because he won't play any games next year???
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Ok ok...my bad, he'll play an extra game or two next year.

Look as far as i can see, the Warriors are stuck between playing their two highest paid players and getting the most out of them, while in the meantime swapping around their two developing props on the bench. Evarn has started like 10 games his whole career and Rapira has played about as many. This is unfortunate as Awen is leaving this year, and Price and Wiki both leave at the end of next. This leaves Evarn and Rapira as our starting props in 2008...35m gains each set here we come.
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
ToiletDuck said:
Ok ok...my bad, he'll play an extra game or two next year.

Look as far as i can see, the Warriors are stuck between playing their two highest paid players and getting the most out of them, while in the meantime swapping around their two developing props on the bench. Evarn has started like 10 games his whole career and Rapira has played about as many. This is unfortunate as Awen is leaving this year, and Price and Wiki both leave at the end of next. This leaves Evarn and Rapira as our starting props in 2008...35m gains each set here we come.

Wiki got an extension now till the end of 2008 so even if Price does retire at the end of next year it gives Evarn/Rapira a chance to start in 2008 alongside Wiki before both start from 2009 on unless we buy another prop.
 

Esoj_old

Guest
yeah it's not doom and gloom. it is a chance for another of the younger guys to step up and show what they can do. good reward for rapira and bad luck for evarn I guess but what can cleary do with price and wiki surely start them in as many games possible. they are arguably the 2 best props in the game and are on good coin so might as well use them.

the line up looks pretty good this week the bye would have been good to freshen up and get the boys back foucsed on the game plan and the things that have been working for them. good to see webby back too after being out with injury.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
warriors4life said:
ToiletDuck said:
Ok ok...my bad, he'll play an extra game or two next year.

Look as far as i can see, the Warriors are stuck between playing their two highest paid players and getting the most out of them, while in the meantime swapping around their two developing props on the bench. Evarn has started like 10 games his whole career and Rapira has played about as many. This is unfortunate as Awen is leaving this year, and Price and Wiki both leave at the end of next. This leaves Evarn and Rapira as our starting props in 2008...35m gains each set here we come.

Wiki got an extension now till the end of 2008 so even if Price does retire at the end of next year it gives Evarn/Rapira a chance to start in 2008 alongside Wiki before both start from 2009 on unless we buy another prop.

Sam and Ervan both have had good goes when Pricey's been busy helping qld. Also, at least one of them gets to play even when Wiki and Pricey so it's all not bad all in all.
 

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