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Vodafone Warriors Prepare For Some Slippery Eels

Auckland, New Zealand, July 3, 2001 – The Vodafone Warriors are prepared for a tough game when they take on the ‘top of the table’ Parramatta Eels this Saturday at Ericsson Stadium.

The Eels have been in outstanding form this season, losing just three games to date. When the Vodafone Warriors and Parramatta last met, the Eels won convincingly. Vodafone Warriors Coach (and former Parramatta staffer) Daniel Anderson knows Saturday’s game will be no less challenging for his young team.

“The Eels are in fantastic form at the moment. When a side has the depth to put away a team like the Knights 40-0, you would be foolish not to expect a hard game,” Anderson says.

“We’ve been fortunate the State of Origin break coincided with the week before this match. Hopefully our batteries are charged a little more than they would be otherwise – that’s going to be important in a game requiring complete concentration and commitment for the full eighty minutes.”

And Anderson is quick to shrug off suggestions of an insider’s advantage when it comes to picking the game plan of his former mentor, Eels Coach Brian Smith. “I don’t believe that gives us a head start at all. Brian is not going to do anything to jeopardise his team’s chances of winning.

“We’re expecting a demanding game on Saturday - the Eels will be hungry to maintain their leading position on the NRL table. But our guys have proven they can be strong against the top teams in the Premiereship and I’d like to think we’ll realise that potential again this weekend,” says Anderson.

Saturday will see the return of Logan Swann from a three-week suspension, while Jason Death and Francis Meli are back after recovering from their respective injuries. Co-captain Kevin Campion is set to be in top form after his role in Queensland’s State of Origin victory, and youngster Iafeta Paleaaesina continues his NRL rise with a place in the starting line up.

This weekend, the Vodafone Warriors team list will be as follows:
1. Ivan Cleary
2. Henry Faafili
3. Wairangi Koopu
4. Clinton Toopi
5. Francis Meli
6. Motu Tony
7. Stacey Jones (c)
8. Iafeta Paleaaesina
9. Monty Betham
10. Ali Lauitiiti
11. Logan Swann
12. Awen Guttenbeil
13. Kevin Campion (c)
14. Jason Death
15. Richard Villasanti
16. David Myles
17. Shontayne Hape
18. Nathan Wood

On Saturday July 7, Ericsson Stadium gates will open at 5.15pm - the Bartercard Cup curtain raiser (Otahuhu vs. Northcote Tigers) will start at 5.30pm. The main game, Vodafone Warriors vs. Parramatta Eels, kicks off at 7.30pm.


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