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Kata and Lolohea back for Warriors

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/08/2016

Solomone Kata of the Warriors reacts during a match. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Solomone Kata of the Warriors reacts during a match. Centre Solomone Kata and utility back Tuimoala Lolohea both return as the Warriors, their NRL playoff hopes barely alive, host the Wests Tigers in Auckland.

Kata, the club's top try-scorer with 14, missed the 34-6 defeat to premiers North Queensland with a hamstring injury.

After playing in reserve grade last weekend, Lolohea has been brought back at wing to replace Ken Maumalo, who went off in the first half against the Cowboys with a hamstring problem.

Warriors assistant coach Andrew Webster says having Kata available for the match on Sunday is a big plus.

"He's been outstanding all season so it's great having him back to face the Tigers," he said.

"It's disappointing losing Ken because he's been doing a great job for us but we all know what Tui can do when he's on his game."

The rest of the line-up is unchanged from the one used in Townsville.

The loss to North Queensland was the second big defeat in a row for the Warriors, after they were upset 41-22 by South Sydney.

The upshot is they need to win their last two matches and hope other results go their way or they will miss out on finals football for a fifth season in a row.

Webster said there were some positives from the performance against the Cowboys.

"We showed some real resilience in the face of adversity," he said.

"We had so little possession due to the errors we made but still hung in and managed to defend well for long periods."

He also pointed to Simon Mannering's contribution, which included 69 tackles and no misses in the lock's 73 minutes of game time.

Warriors: David Fusitu'a, Tuimoala Lolohea, Blake Ayshford, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Nathaniel Roache, Albert Vete, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (capt), Simon Mannering. Interchange: Ata Hingano, Sam Lisone, Ben Matulino, James Gavet, Bunty Afoa.

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