Saturday’s second NRL Round 23 match is between New Zealand Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs. The opening bounce is set to commence at 17:35 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 South Sydney Rabbitohs.
When: 17:35 | Saturday 13/08/2016
Where: Mt Smart Stadium
Tip: New Zealand Warriors at $1.36
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Ken Maumalo at $12.00
Warriors: 1 Tuimoala Lolohea 2 Ken Maumalo 3 David Fusitu’a 4 Solomone Kata 5 Manu Vatuvei 6 Thomas Leuluai 7 Shaun Johnson 8 Jacob Lillyman 9 Jazz Tevaga 10 Albert Vete 11 Bodene Thompson 12 Ryan Hoffman (c) 13 Simon Mannering Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache 15 Sam Lisone 16 Ben Matulino 17 Blake Ayshford 18 Bunty Afoa.
Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Aaron Gray 5. Joe Burgess 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Zane Musgrove 11. John Sutton 12. Kyle Turner 13. Sam Burgess. Interchange: 14. Jason Clark 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Angus Crichton 17. George Burgess.
It was a performance the opposition coach labelled “scary”, but Jarryd Hayne’s debut for his new NRL club Gold Coast ended in defeat.
The Warriors spoiled the party at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday, snatching a vital 24-14 NRL win that lifts them above the Titans into seventh on the ladder.
A bumper crowd of 25,109 – the Titans’ best attendance since 2010 – had to wait 28 minutes to see multi-million dollar recruit Hayne in action.
By that stage the Warriors were already ahead 10-6, after a Bodene Thompson try just before Hayne took to the field.
The 28-year-old – who last played an NRL match for Parramatta in September 2014 before stints in NFL and rugby sevens – wasted no time making his presence felt.
He nailed a tryline-bound Thompson with a heavy ball-and-all tackle to prevent the Warriors extending their lead.
Minutes later Hayne outjumped two Warriors in a leaping contest for a bomb, with the Titans going on to score via ex-Warrior Konrad Hurrell in the resulting set.
Warriors star Shaun Johnson showed there wasn’t one match-winner on the stage however, setting up two second-half tries for the visitors – including one that came a set after David Fusitu’a had sprinted 70 metres after intercepting a Hayne no-look pass.
Another intercept try, to Solomone Kata, put the Warriors out of sight before Hayne picked up a try assist when winger Anthony Don gathered the ex-NSW State of Origin star’s grubber kick to complete the scoring.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden, thrilled his team had claimed the points in such a crucial clash on the race for finals, admitted Hayne’s return had been eye-catching.
“It’s pretty scary that that’s his first game,” McFadden said.
“We were expecting he’d get straight out there and jump on the horse and that’s what he did really. It was pretty impressive.”
Hayne said match fitness had been his biggest issue and he expected to be better for the match practice.
“Just the minutes in the legs, that’s something you really can’t get at training because of the contact and how ferocious it is out there on the field,” Hayne said.
“I’ve played in a lot of big games where mentally it’s got me through it. It wasn’t anything I didn’t expect or couldn’t handle.”
The Warriors head home to Auckland to host South Sydney next Saturday while the Titans are on the road to Wests Tigers in another vital top eight clash at Campbelltown.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change