Saturday’s first NRL Round 17 match is between New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans. The opening bounce is set to commence at 13:05 local time with the game to be played at Mt Smart Stadium. The home team New Zealand Warriors are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans.
When: 13:05 | Saturday 02/07/2016
Where: Mt Smart Stadium
Tip: New Zealand Warriors at $1.28
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Shaun Johnson at $12.00
Warriors: 1 David Fusitu’a 2 Tuimoala Lolohea, 3 Blake Ayshford, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Thomas Leuluai, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Jacob Lillyman, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Albert Vete, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman (c), 13 Simon Mannering. Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Ben Matulino, 17 Charlie Gubb.
Titans: 1 William Zillman (c) 2 Anthony Don 3 Josh Hoffman 4 Chris McQueen 5 Nene Macdonald 6 Tyrone Roberts 7 Ash Taylor 8 Luke Douglas 9 Nathan Peats 10 Ryan James 11 Zeb Taia 12 Leivaha Pulu 13 Greg Bird. Interchange: 14 Eddy Pettybourne, 15 Ryan Simpkins 16 Agnatius Paasi 17 Nathan Friend (c).
Warriors playmaker Jeff Robson has been granted a release from his contract with the NRL club on compassionate grounds.
The former Manly, Parramatta and Cronulla veteran had been contracted to the New Zealand-based outfit until the end of the season, but has been granted an immediate release.
The 33-year had been signed by the Warriors to provide some stability and direction at the scrumbase, but he hasn’t played in the top grade since round seven.
Robson has been living in Auckland, with his wife and special-needs daughter remaining in Sydney.
“It has been difficult for Jeff on a personal level being separated from his family and we certainly support him in his desire to be back with them,” Warriors recruitment manager Tony Iro said.
Robson’s 166-game NRL career is likely over.
“I’ve really enjoyed coming over to New Zealand to be a part of this club. It’s a great set-up and I’ve appreciated the opportunities I’ve had,” Robson said.
“I would have liked to see my contract through but, in the end, my family is far more important.
“I haven’t seen a lot of them and I’m extremely grateful (coach) Cappy (Tony McFadden), Tony, (CEO) Jim (Doyle) and everyone else has been so understanding.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change