You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Warriors five-eighth Kodi Nikorima.

The Warriors are set to take a depleted side into Friday night's crucial match against Manly as injuries to key players present another challenge to their already slim play-off hopes.

After being forced from the field with an ankle injury just 20 minutes into last week's 46-12 drubbing at the hands of the Raiders, five-eighth Kodi Nikorima didn't train on Tuesday.

It is the second time Nikorima has suffered an injury to his left ankle in the space of three weeks, and should he fail to recover rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita – who scored two tries off the bench against the Raiders – is set to earn his seventh start in the halves.

Hooker Karl Lawton (shoulder) didn't take part in contact on Tuesday, leaving reserve-grade half Adam Keighran to run at dummy half alongside Jazz Tevaga.

Playmaker Blake Green confirmed they are preparing for that to be their hooking rotation against the Sea Eagles.

Get Caught Up: Round 20

"Our top three hookers aren't playing which isn't ideal," Green said.

"We have got a different sort of pairing at nine this week and hopefully they do a really good job.

"We have got Jazz in there this week, but obviously his preferred position is 13 so he hasn't got the same amount of reps in slinging the ball from dummy half as the other boys. It's not his natural go.

"It probably just changes the width we have been playing with.

"Obviously we need a little bit of luck to keep everyone on the field. But that's how it's gone for us, we have just got to deal with it and move on."

Coach Stephen Kearney looks likely to make changes to the backline as well, with veteran centre Blake Ayshford not training with the NRL group on Tuesday and Gerard Beale moving from wing to centre.

Rookie Adam Pompey, who made his Telstra Premiership debut last month, is set to come in on the right wing as Ayshford's replacement.  

Having home ground advantage over the fifth-placed Sea Eagles this week will provide little comfort to the Warriors, given they have won just two of eight games at Mt Smart this year.

The run of six straight defeats at the venue equals the worst run in club history, and Green said he was at a loss to explain the poor form in Auckland.

"Maybe we change the name of the stadium? Put the away strip on?" Green said.

Freakish offload from Ayshford sends Harris-Tavita over

"I don't know what it is, if it's just coincided with some poor performances that have been at home and good performances have been away."

The Warriors sit three points outside the eight and any slim hope they have of playing finals will be extinguished if they go down to Manly, and forward Isaiah Papali'i said there is also a desire to make amends after the Sea Eagles thrashed them 46-12 back in round three.

"It goes back to when we were in Christchurch against Manly at the start of the year. I think it's a personal battle for all of us and that's what we will be bringing to the game," Papali'i told

"Even though it wasn't at Mt Smart, that loss was still on our home soil, so we want to make it right.

"After last Friday's game we also want to show that that's not us as a footy team."


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners