Here’s a look at the Hunua Group for this weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines to take place at Eden Park.
Click here for all the squads
Click here NRL Nines Draw
Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs, Manly Sea-Eagles, New Zealand Warriors
Brisbane Broncos: Sam Thiaday is in the box seat for the Broncos captaincy after being selected to take the reins at this weekend’s event. The side has a blend of experience and inexperience. Darius Boyd and Corey Oates offer plenty in attack. This could be a great tournament for Ipswich Jets boy Carlin Anderson, very skillful at the back and set to make a big impact at the tournament.
Canterbury Bulldogs: Like the Storm, Canterbury have opted to ‘rest’ their star players. This will limit any success they have at the tournament. One pleasing thing for Dogs fans will be the debut of Brad Abbey. A lot of pundits say there’s a big future for this Kiwi fullback. I don’t give this side much hope of a quarter final berth but I’m happy to be proven wrong.
Manly Sea Eagles: A new era for the Eagles with Trent Barrett as coach. This will be a good litmus test as to what we expect from the Silvertails in 2016. Jake Trbojevic will captain a side with some good NRL experience in Tim Moltzen, Isaac John and Jorge Taufua. Matt Parcell is another familiar Intrust Super Cup Ipswich Jets face to play in Auckland and will be dynamic out of dummy half.
New Zealand Warriors: With the hopes of a Nation behind them, Shaun Johnson will captain a full-strength Warriors side. The disappointments of 2015 might be behind them with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to debut for the club. While Solomone Kata and Tuimoala Lolohea have the pace and skills out wide to give the Warriors every opportunity to score, it may come down to Ben Matulino at the back end of the tournament to ride the Warriors home. Any result less than a finals berth won’t be acceptable for the Kiwi crowd.
WHO WILL ADVANCE?
Matt Pritchard: Warriors, Sea Eagles
James Morgan: Warriors, Bulldogs
Sam Dasey: Warriors, Sea Eagles
Rachel O’Reilly: Warriors, Sea Eagles
Brandon Lee: Warriors, Broncos
POLL: Who will make the quarter finals from the Hunua Group #NRLAKL9s
— NothingButRL (@NothingButRL) February 3, 2016