Sunday’s first NRL Round 25 match is between New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers. The opening bounce is set to commence at 14:05 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 Wests Tigers.
When: 14:05 | Sunday 28/08/2016
Where: Mt Smart Stadium
Tip: New Zealand Warriors at $1.32
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Ken Maumalo at $12.00
Warriors: David Fusitu’a 2 Tuimoala Lolohea 3 Blake Ayshford 4 Solomone Kata 5 Manu Vatuvei 6 Thomas Leuluai 7 Shaun Johnson 8 Jacob Lillyman 9 Nathaniel Roache 10 Albert Vete 11 Bodene Thompson 12 Ryan Hoffman (c) 13 Simon Mannering Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano 15 Sam Lisone 16 Ben Matulino 17 James Gavet 18 Bunty Afoa.
Tigers: 1 David Nofoaluma 2 Jordan Rankin 3 Tim Simona 4 Kevin Naiqama 5 Joshua Addo 6 Mitchell Moses 7 Luke Brooks 8 Aaron Woods (c) 9 Dene Halatau 10 Jesse Sue 11 Joshua Aloiai 12 Christopher Lawrence 13 Elijah Taylor Interchange: 14 Kyle Lovett 15 Avagalu Seumanufagai 16 Tim Grant 17 Joel Edwards 18 Michael Chee Kam.
They know it’s no longer in their hands but the Warriors are refusing to give up on their NRL finals ambition.
A 34-6 hiding by North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday has left the Warriors needing to win their remaining two matches of the season to have any hope of making the eight.
With 24 points, the Warriors sit ninth on the ladder, three points behind Gold Coast.
Even if the New Zealand-based club can beat Wests Tigers and Parramatta in Auckland over the next two weeks, a win to the Titans in any of their remaining games will make a top eight finish impossible for the Warriors.
It’s a dramatic decline for a club which just a fortnight ago defeated the Titans at Robina to move into the box seat for a finals position.
But a shock loss at home to South Sydney and the Cowboys defeat, as well as a knee injury to hooker Issac Luke, have taken their toll.
“There’s still hope, but it’s not within our hands,” McFadden said.
“We’re going to have to rely on results. We’ve got two home games and we want to finish the season strong.
“Disappointed, because we have let opportunities slip in the last couple of weeks.”
Adding to McFadden’s woes, the Warriors leave Townsville with key backs Solomone Kata and Ken Maumalo battling hamstring injuries.
Kata failed to even start Saturday’s clash while Maumalo limped off in the 20th minute.
Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman said the team cannot afford to wallow in self-pity and simply have to get on with the job of winning their remaining games.
“That’s reality. We can’t worry about anything else,” Hoffman said.
“We have Tigers next week, that’s our priority. Put in a good performance there, get the result and then we’ve just got to move on.”
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change