Strong Vulcans flavour for Gold Coast trial
Thursday 7 February 2013 9:35 AM
Players with New South Wales Cup experience, especially from the Auckland Vulcans, dominate the Vodafone Warriors’ line-up for Saturday’s NRL trial against Gold Coast at Pizzey Park in Burleigh Heads (5.15pm kick-off).
Coming into the side from outside the club’s wider NRL squad is 2012 Vulcans utility Aaron Nootai.
From Auckland’s Richmond club, the Cook Islands international earned his call-up after impressing Vodafone Warriors coaching staff at a Vulcans open trial recently.
Then-Vulcans coach Ricky Henry, now a Vodafone Warriors assistant coach, used Nootai at both hooker and in the halves last season.
“It’s great to give Vulcans players like Aaron this kind of opportunity,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Matt Elliott.
“Our relationship with the Vulcans and the way we work together for the common good is hugely important. They’re going to have a vital role throughout our 2013 campaign.”
As well as Nootai, two other 2012 Vulcans regulars prop Suaia Matagi and outside back Atelea Nafetalai – both on offseason trials with the Vodafone Warriors – are also in the team leaving for Australia later today.
Of the starting side named only 2012 Vodafone Junior Warriors John Palavi and Ngani Laumape didn’t play New South Wales Cup or Queensland Cup football last year.
Contracted Vodafone Warriors Carlos Tuimavave, Glen Fisiiahi, Pita Godinet, captain Steve Rapira, Alehana Mara, 2012 Vulcans player of the year Sam Lousi and Sebastine Ikahihifo all appeared for the Vulcans at some stage last year while new centre Dominique Peyroux played for the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Queensland Cup and halfback Harry Siejka and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak – both of Polish extraction – turned out for Penrith’s feeder club Windsor in the NSW Cup. Watene-Zelezniak has been on trial with the Vodafone Warriors over the past month.
Of the 10 players listed on the bench Nafetalai, Sione Lousi, Nootai, Konrad Hurrell and 2012 Vodafone Junior Warriors Trent Bishop, Nathaniel Peteru and Siliva Havili all appeared for the Vulcans last year. The other three David Fusitua, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and David Bhana played for the Vodafone Junior Warriors, Fusitua and Bhana again set to play in the NYC this year.
VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST TITANS
Pizzey Park, Burleigh Heads
5.15pm, Saturday, February 09
22 CARLOS TUIMAVAVE
2 GLEN FISIIAHI
3 DOMINIQUE PEYROUX
4 MALAKAI WATENE-ZELEZNIAK
26 NGANI LAUMAPE
6 PITA GODINET
27 HARRY SIEJKA
8 STEVE RAPIRA (c)
25 ALEHANA MARA
10 SUAIA MATAGI
11 JOHN PALAVI
20 SAM LOUSI
13 SEBASTINE IKAHIHIFO
14 ATELEA NAFETALAI
15 SIONE LOUSI
16 DAVID FUSITUA
17 AARON NOOTAI
18 NATHANIEL PETERU
21 SILIVA HAVILI
23 KONRAD HURRELL
24 SIO SIUA TAUKEIAHO
5 TRENT BISHOP
9 DAVID BHANA
HEAD COACH: MATTHEW ELLIOTT