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Round 9 Match Preview: An Action-Packed Auckland Afternoon

For the first time since 2018, the Sydney Roosters will fly across the Tasman to face the New Zealand Warriors in a Sunday afternoon double-header at Mt Smart Stadium.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors

On Sunday, the Roosters will face the Warriors for the 45th time in history, this time venturing into enemy territory for the highly anticipated clash.

The two sides met seven weeks ago at Allianz Stadium, where Jaxson Paulo bagged a double to steer the Tricolours to their sixth consecutive win over the Warriors, a victory that settled the scores between clubs.

After defeating the Dragons on Anzac Day, the Roosters will carry plenty of confidence into Sunday’s match as they look to string together back-to-back wins before facing the Cowboys in Magic Round.

But the Warriors have not lost a home game this season, with many fans expected to attend as the NSW Cup teams go head-to-head in the match prior, the Mt Smart atmosphere will be electric and could prove the difference in Sunday's result.

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson’s side features two changes following Round 8, with the inclusion of Corey Allan on the wing to replace Daniel Tupou, while Nat Butcher resumes his role in the second row.

The rest of the team remains unchanged, with Angus Crichton shuffling to the interchange bench and Naufahu Whyte named on the extended bench.

Captain James Tedesco leads the side from fullback again this week, with Allan and Jaxson Paulo on the wings and Paul Momirovski and Joesph-Aukuso Suaalii in the centres.

New Zealand International Joseph Manu will once again partner last week’s player of the match Luke Keary in the halves, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brandon Smith and Lindsay Collins make up the front-row.

Egan Butcher welcomes his brother Nat back to the second row and Victor Radley completes the starting line-up at lock.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Warriors is number 3 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Corey Allan
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii
  • Centre for Warriors is number 17 Viliami Vailea
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Paul Momirovski
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Dylan Walker
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Joseph Manu
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary


  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Bunty Afoa
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore
    Prop for Roosters is number 17 Matthew Lodge
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Egan Butcher
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
  • Lock for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley


  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bayley Sironen
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Angus Crichton
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Tom Ale
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Demitric Sifakula
    Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Fletcher Baker


  • Replacement for Warriors is number 22 Kalani Going
    Replacement for Roosters is number 19 Sam Walker

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Ben Cummins

Last updated:

Warriors coach Andrew Webster has been forced to make numerous changes ahead of Round 9, after many of his men were injured in their clash against the Storm on Anzac Day.

Captain Tohu Harris will miss the match with a knee injury, while the Warriors also lose Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jazz Tevaga. Taine Tuaupiki, Wayde Egan and Viliami Vailea have been called on to fill the holes in the line-up

Key Match Up:  Brandon Smith vs Wayde Egan

Two hookers go head-to-head in the middle of the field this Sunday when Brandon Smith meets Wayde Egan.

Both Smith and Egan have been hard to stop this season, with impressive plays off dummy-half setting up many of their teams tries. Smith has made his way over the stripe twice so far in 2023, while Egan has crossed for four tries in five matches.

When they’re not orchestrating crafty attacking plays, the hookers back up their efforts in defence. Smith has stepped up to make 191 tackles, but Egan has a higher tackle efficiency percentage.

Smith’s brilliance proved pivotal to the Roosters’ Anzac Day win over the Dragons, but Egan didn’t play in Round 7 or 8, due to a concussion – making for an interesting match-up in the middle.

After enjoying a two-week break, Egan will enter the match well-rested while Smith battles a five-day turnaround after a 73-minute stint on Tuesday.

Victory for either team will be vital heading into Magic Round, so look no further than the two hookers who will play an important role in the result.

Anzac Day Match Highlights: Roosters vs Dragons

Final Verdict

It doesn’t get much tougher than a five-day turnaround and a flight across the Tasman, let alone facing the in-form Warriors at their hallowed home ground, Mt Smart Stadium.

But the odds are in the Roosters’ favour, having not dropped a game to the New-Zealand based side since March of 2018.

You can purchase your tickets for Sunday’s game here. If you’re not an Auckland local or can’t make the trip across the Tasman to cheer on the Roosters, be sure to attend Easts Bondi Junction, where you can watch the game live from Artie’s Bar!

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Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour 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.