Warriors Welcome Back Jazz Tevaga for First NRL Finals Match in Five Years Against Reigning Champions Panthers


As the Warriors gear up for their first NRL finals match in five years, they welcome back Jazz Tevaga to the bench. The inaugural encounter will have them face the reigning champions, Penrith Panthers, on Saturday evening.

The steadfast 28-year-old mid-fielder sat out the last three fixtures of the regular season, nursing a hamstring injury sustained during their round 24 victory against Wests Tigers in Hamilton. The injury-prone season allowed him participation in a mere eight games since his return.

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The much-anticipated match is scheduled to commence at 6.05pm NZT, mirroring the Warriors’ last finals match in the 2018 playoffs. Both teams, back then relegated to the bottom half of the top eight, dished out strong performances. However, the Panthers emerged victorious with a 27-12 triumph over the Warriors.

The only encounter between these two sides in this year’s regular season resulted in an 18-6 win for the Panthers. The closely fought match unfolded at the Magic Round held at Suncorp Stadium on May 6.

Marking the ninth finals campaign in its history, this is only the third instance of the Warriors making it to the top four.

In related news from the Warriors’ recent year-end awards ceremony, Shaun Johnson was almost at a loss for words. Recognized as the Warriors’ player of the year, he was presented with the Simon Mannering Medal. The star player managed to outshine other distinguished finalists including Tohu Harris, Addin Fonua-Blake, and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Johnson’s night of accolades didn’t end there as he also received the prestigious Players’ Player of the Season and the People’s Choice awards.

Receiving his final honour around 9.30pm stirred emotion within the winning halfback. As he stepped up to the podium to receive the award from former skipper Mannering, the entire assembly at the Viaduct Events Centre acknowledged his achievement with a standing ovation. This recognition can only enhance Johnson’s resolve, who is aiming to build on a remarkable career comeback this year.

On Saturday, September 9 at BlueBet Stadium in Penrith from 6.05pm NZT, the Warriors line-up shall be as follows:

1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3 Rocco Berry
4 Adam Pompey
5 Marcelo Montoya
6 Te Maire Martin
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Addin Fonua-Blake
9 Wayde Egan
10 Mitchell Barnett
11 Jackson Ford
12 Marata Niukore
13 Tohu Harris (c)

14 Dylan Walker
15 Jazz Tevaga
16 Bayley Sironen
17 Josh Curran
Head coach: Andrew Webster.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.