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Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub’s live coverage of this NRL round 14 clash between NZ Warriors and Redcliffe Dolphins from Go Media Stadium Mt Smart.
A week on from defeat to Brisbane Broncos in Napier, the Warriors go again as they mount their assault on the NRL’s top eight.
The Kiwi side came within one Adam Pompey jersey-tug of victory last week but were their own worst enemy in a game they should have won.
In a much-needed boost, hooker Wayde Egan returns to the starting side after sitting out in Napier with a calf injury, taking the No.9 jersey from Freddy Lussick, who failed a concussion test at McLean Park.
Forward Mitchell Barnett makes his first appearance since round three, after suffering a neck injury in victory over North Queensland Cowboys, taking a spot on the bench as the only other change to the matchday 17.
They’ll be up against a soaring Dolphins side that have made upsetting expectations their modus operandi in 2023.
Widely tipped for the wooden spoon in their first NRL season, Wayne Bennett’s side sit seventh on the ladder, two points clear of the Warriors.
In fact, even if the Warriors triumph, there’s no guarantees they’ll score enough points to leapfrog their opponents.
There’s plenty of familiar faces within the Dolphins’ ranks for Warriors and Kiwi fans to get excited about seeing.
Former Warriors utility Kodi Nikorima starts at fullback, while Euan Aitken starts in the centres.
What’s more, brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich will both pack down in the forwards, returning to Mt Smart in the away dressing room.
TAB odds: Warriors $1.44, Dolphins $2.70
Warriors: 1-Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3-Rocco Berry, 4-Adam Pompey, 5-Marcelo Montoya, 6-Luke Metcalf, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Addin Fonua-Blake, 9-Wayde Egan, 10-Bunty Afoa, 11-Jackson Ford, 12-Marata Niukore, 13-Tohu Harris (c)
Interchange: 15-Josh Curran, 16-Mitchell Barnett, 17-Bayley Sironen, 18-Tom Ale
Dolphins: 1-Kodi Nikorima, 2-Jamayne Isaako, 3-Euan Aitken, 4-Brenko Lee, 5-Tesi Niu, 6-Anthony Milford, 7-Isaiya Katoa, 8-Jesse Bromwich (c), 9-Jeremy Marshall-King, 10-Herman Ese’ese, 11-Kenny Bromwich, 12-Connely Lemuelu, 13-Ray Stone
Interchange: 14-Jarrod Wallace, 15-Mark Nicholls, 16-Mason Teague, 17-Valynce Te Whare