Luck out of Warriors clash against Titans
Veteran loose forward Micheal Luck has been ruled out of the Warriors round 18 match against Gold Coast at Skilled Park in Robina on Saturday night.by NRL
Veteran loose forward Micheal Luck has been ruled out of the Warriors round 18 match against Gold Coast at Skilled Park in Robina on Saturday night.
Luck (30), just two games into his return from a nine-month lay-off, has had more trouble with his left shoulder.
"It's not right and I need to get it looked at by the specialist," he said today.
After having off-season surgery on his shoulder and twice on his left wrist, Luck had to wait until the June 16 match against Cronulla before making his comeback.
He was used for 23 minutes against the Sharks in that game and 25 minutes against the North Queensland Cowboys last Sunday in what was his 146th match for the club, the 222nd of his career.
Coming onto the bench for Luck is tough-tackling Steve Rapira, who's set to play his third game of the season while utility Pita Godinet has also been included on a five-man interchange.
The starting line-up is the same used against the Cowboys with Omar Slaimankhel officially named for the first time rather than being drafted in as a late replacement for first Manu Vatuvei and then Glen Fisiiahi as was the case for his first two NRL appearances. It means he can at last wear the No 5 jersey linked with Vatuvei throughout his career with the club.
With Slaimankhel's inclusion the Vodafone Warriors have been fielding a backline with an average age of just 21.71 and averaging only 33.28 games each. Standoff James Maloney, the old man at 26, and fullback Kevin Locke, the second oldest at 23, are the only players in the backline who have made more than 50 NRL appearances (accounting for 131 of a total 233 NRL games between them).
Around them are three 20-year-olds - Konrad Hurrell, Ben Henry and Slaimankhel - the 21-year-old Shaun Johnson and winger Bill Tupou, who turned 22 just yesterday.
Tupou will play his 45th match on Saturday night, Johnson his 31st, Henry his 16th, Hurrell his 12th and Slaimankhel his third while Maloney brings up his 71st appearance and Locke his 62nd.
"I can't say enough about these young boys. They're doing a fantastic job for us," said Vodafone Warriors head coach Brian McClennan.
"It says a lot for our club's attitude to developing our own players that all except Jimmy (Maloney) have come through our system and have played for Vodafone Junior Warriors in the NYC. That's terrific."
The Vodafone Warriors head into the game sitting alone in ninth place, two points out of the top eight and two points ahead of the 10th-placed Gold Coast.
Their record exactly reflects their position at the same stage last year of seven wins and eight losses. This time last year the Vodafone Warriors had just come off a fourth straight defeat and a bye to be ninth before going on to win seven of their last nine games.
WARRIORS v TITANS
Skilled Park, Robina
7.30pm, Saturday, July 07
Referees: Matt Cecchin and Phil Haines
1 Kevin Locke
2 Bill Tupou
3 Ben Henry
4 Konrad Hurrell
5 Omar Slaimankhel
6 James Maloney
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Russell Packer
9 Nathan Friend
10 Ben Matulino
11 Feleti Mateo
12 Simon Mannering [c]
13 Elijah Taylor
14 Lewis Brown
15 Sione Lousi
16 Jacob Lillyman
17 Steve Rapira
18 Pita Godinet
Head Coach: Brian McClennan
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