Warriors recall duo for Bulldogs clash

Published 3:21pm 9 August 2022

Warriors recall duo for Bulldogs clash
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Daejarn Asi kicking for goal for Dolphins at the weekend.

Daejarn Asi and Viliami Vailea have been recalled for the Vodafone Warriors’ third Homecoming Series clash against Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at Mount Smart Stadium on Friday (8pm kick-off).

With long-term signing Ronald Volkman out for the season with a shoulder injury, Asi joins Shaun Johnson in the halves for the sixth time this year after last appearing in round 19 against Canberra.

Vailea (19) is back in the NRL side for his seventh appearance this season but his first since breaking his jaw against Newcastle Knights on May 28.

He was impressive earlier in the year, scoring five tries in six games and is back after turning out for feeder club Redcliffe Dolphins in Queensland’s Hostplus Cup.

Vailea was one of three Vodafone Warriors players to score tries in the Dolphins’ 28-18 win over Wynnum-Manly last weekend.

On the move

His recall results in the experienced Euan Aitken being moved back to the second row while Asi is in for Wayde Egan, who reverts to his specialist role at hooker after wearing the #6  jersey against the Rabbitohs last week. Freddy Lussick moves back to the interchange.

As well as Aitken resuming his second rower’s role alongside Jack Murchie, there’s a forced change at loose forward with Aaron Pene (leg contusion) ruled out this week resulting in Josh Curran being named to start in #13.

Standoff Chanel Harris (knee) and centre Jesse Arthars (quad) weren’t cleared this week but are on track to be available for the round 23 away clash against North Queensland.

The Bulldogs arrived in Auckland today to prepare for their first encounter at Mount Smart Stadium since the opening round of the 2019 season, a match the Vodafone Warriors won  40-6.

Every game

That day Marcelo Montoya was in the centres for the Bulldogs but now has the same role for the home side against his old club.

Prop Bunty Afoa, another survivor from that match, will play his 20th consecutive match of the season, the only player in the squad to feature in every game.

This will be the 41st contest between the two clubs with the Bulldogs 21-17 ahead on the winning ledger with two matches drawn. 

In matches at Mount Smart the teams have an  even 10-10 record in 20 games while the Vodafone Warriors have won the last three and five of the last seven.

While Vodafone Warriors have been battling to find winning form, Bulldogs have been resurgent rebounding from just two wins in their first 13 matches to win four of  their last seven.

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

3 VILIAMI VAILEA

4 MARCELO MONTOYA

5 EDWARD KOSI

6 DAEJARN ASI

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 TOHU HARRIS (c)

11 EUAN AITKEN

12 JACK MURCHIE

13 JOSH CURRAN

Extended bench:
14 FREDDY LUSSICK

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 ELIESA KATOA

17 JACKSON FREI

18 BAYLEY SIRONEN

20 ADAM POMPEY

21 TANIELA OTUKOLO

22 TOM ALE

23 ROCCO BERRY

Head coach | STACEY JONE

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