The NRL is no place for letting others fight your battles, but after back-to-back losses it’s the only option left for the men from Mt Smart. As we sit at home and nervously fortify our walls in readiness for the invasion of the Tigers, the good people of Penrith have sent the mountain men out to find the elixir of life that can save us all.
In order to survive, we must place our faith in these mountain men. We must learn their feline ways:
We must sing their songs:
And we must believe that anything is possible:
We ask not for a week of salvation, not even an entire day. Just two 40-minute halves is all we request. As we flounder in the treacherous seas of the Bottom 8, we must wave our hands in the air, call out for help and hope that the men from the mountain will pull us to safety as they travel along their journey up the ladder. The current is too strong to save ourselves. Of course, we had hoped to make it to the playoffs on our own, but it has been so long now that we in Warrior Nation can’t be picky. We must leave our pride at the door and celebrate any appearance, even if we are carried there on the shoulders of giants.
So forget about the Tigers, at least for one night, we’ll worry about them later. Forget even about the All Blacks. At 7:30pm New Zealand time it is Penrith for whom we must cheer. It is Penrith who hold our fate in their hands.
We look back to 2015, when the Warriors came away with the two points on an emotional night for The Beast.
New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers, Mount Smart Stadium, Sunday 28 August 2016
ISP kick-off: 11:45am (local time)
NYC kick-off: 1:45pm (local time)
NRL kick-off: 4:00pm (local time)
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
Reports suggest Issac Luke may well be a late inclusion for the Warriors, while Chris Lawrence is out for the Tigers and will most likely be replaced by Michael Chee Kam.