Berrigan hits 200 NRL games with Warriors

AARON LAWTON
Last updated 05:00 20/07/2011
Shaun Berrigan
FIONA GOODALL/Stuff
WARRIOR VET: Centre Shaun Berrigan will play his 200th NRL game on Sunday when the Warriors meet the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

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Veteran centre Shaun Berrigan will play his 200th NRL game on Sunday when the Warriors meet the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

The 32-year-old, who arrived at the club this season after three years playing for Hull FC in the English Super League, will be the second Warriors player to notch up the milestone in 2011 after lock Micheal Luck.

He will start in the centres against the Rabbitohs after coach Ivan Cleary opted on Tuesday to stick with the same line-up that beat the Bulldogs 36-6 last Friday night.

Having made his debut for the Brisbane Broncos in 1999, Berrigan went on to play 186 times for the club. He also played 14 tests for the Kangaroos and made 15 State of Origin appearances for Queensland.

"Shaun is certainly one of the most durable players around today," says Cleary.

"He's already achieved so many honours in his career and this is another big one. It's a huge achievement for any player to reach 200 games in the NRL."

Berrigan's one-time Broncos team-mate Joel Moon, who returned to the first-grade side against the Bulldogs last week for the first time since March, will start as the other centre.

The match against the Rabbitohs is the Warriors' first away from home since they were soundly beaten by the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on June 18.

After stringing together back-to-back wins over the Gold Coast Titans and Bulldogs, they will head into the round 20 contest in sixth place on the competition ladder.

Their recent change in fortune has coincided with a much improved defensive effort and Cleary says he hopes  that will continue.

After averaging close to 40 missed tackles a game earlier in the year, they have missed just 46 in total for their last two matches.

"When we strung a few wins together earlier in the year, that (defence) was a big part of it," Cleary says.

"We seem to have got that back and it was really good to see the hunger right at the end of the (Bulldogs) game again."

The Rabbitohs are in 11th place but ended a two-match losing streak with a golden point win over the Sydney Roosters last Saturday.

Having leaked 390 points this year, they boast the third-worst defensive record in the competition.

The Warriors will start the match as favourites against their Sydney-based rivals and will be looking for their second win over the Rabbitohs this year after they beat them in Auckland in round 11.

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WARRIORS V RABbITOHS

Line up: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Joel Moon, Shaun Berrigan, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Aaron Heremaia, Jacob Lillyman, Feletei Mateo, Simon Mannering (captain), Micheal Luck.

Interchange: Lance Hohaia, Sam Rapira, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

- Stuff

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