DANGER MAN: Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors will start at full back this weekend.
DANGER MAN: Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors will start at full back this weekend. MICK TSIKAS

Warriors finally bring back Lolohea

IT'S been one of the NRL's greatest selection mysteries for weeks, but electrifying youngster Tuimoala Lolohea is finally back in the Warriors' No.1 jumper for the club's clutch clash with Penrith at Mt Smart Stadium.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has played Lolohea off the bench and on the wing in recent games, giving him just two minutes in the golden-point loss to Manly two weeks ago.

But this weekend he has returned Lolohea (pictured) to fullback, shifting David Fusitua - who has occupied the No.1 jumper for the past four games - into the centres, alongside Solomone Kata. It gives the Warriors a very dangerous look against the Panthers, who are coming off a big win over Brisbane and are one win ahead of the Warriors in eighth place on the ladder.

The Panthers play a similar style to the Warriors and there is very little difference in for and against between the two (the Panthers are on minus 13, while the Warriors are on minus 21), so the two points are crucial to both clubs.

Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman said his players would need to be switched on defensively against the Panthers.

Hoffman is wary of the Panthers' unpredictable play, which relies on the power and subtleties of some big forwards and the composure and creativity of young playmakers Nathan Cleary, Bryce Cartwright and NSW Origin star Matt Moylan, who plays like a second five-eighth in attack.

"They're young and they're big and they run hard and play with a lot of confidence,” Hoffman said.

"They'll come across with a lot of confidence from beating the Broncos because not too many people go to Suncorp on a Friday night and get the win like that.

"They're doing really well and they've got their tails up.

"I don't think they fear coming over to New Zealand and they're going to be quite confident coming to our place.

"That just shows that we've got to be on board in attack but also defensively as well.”


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