Warriors keen to prove finals credentials
A WIN this weekend against the Sydney Roosters will give the Warriors some finals legitimacy a month after most critics were writing them off as a lost cause.
After upsetting Brisbane a fortnight ago, the Warriors followed up with a hefty 50-14 win over last-placed Newcastle to set up a shot at their first hat-trick of wins for the season.
The jury is still out until the Warriors knock over a genuine premiership contender such as Cronulla, currently on a 10-game streak, whom they play in round 16 on the road.
After that clash though the only top-eight side they play in the run into the finals is defending premier North Queensland.
The 15th-placed Roosters will be desperate to make a late push up the ladder given they are three wins outside the top eight following a slow start to the season due to injury and suspensions.
Veteran Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has been forced to pull out with a hamstring strain, his place taken by Ken Mamaulo in his first appearance this season.
Rookie prop Toafofoa Sipley is set to make his second NRL appearance, coming off the bench in place of the in-form Jacob Lillyman, rushed into Queensland’s Origin squad for the injured Nate Myles.
Bookmaker Sportsbet has reported renewed interest in the Warriors to play finals football ($2) following their mini-resurgence, with a few good bets on them to win the grand final at $26.
Cronulla has joined North Queensland and Brisbane as $4.25 premiership favourites, with Melbourne ($5) the only other team under double figures.