Unpredictable Hurrell dropped by the Warriors

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 01/05/2013
Konrad Hurrell
Getty Images
IN YOUR FACE: Konrad Hurrell will be under a bit of pressure when he runs out against the Broncos.

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Talented, but unpredictable, centre Konrad Hurrell, appears to have paid the price for the errors he has been making late in games by being dropped for Sunday's clash against Gold Coast Titans.

Hurrell has always been regarded as a great attacking weapon with deficiencies on defence, but with the team's injury problems easing, Warriors coach Matt Elliott has decided to demote him to the Auckland Vulcans this weekend.

Hurrell has lost his place in the team to Ben Henry, who has moved to the centres this weekend because of Simon Mannering's return to the side, and will play for Auckland Vulcans against Cronulla Sharks on Saturday in the New South Wales Cup.

The other change is Manu Vatuvei coming back onto the wing, with Ngani Laumape dropping down to an extended interchange bench. 

"It's a massive boost to have Simon and Manu fit again," said Elliott. 
"They're hugely important to the team with their experience and the contribution they make to our effort.

"It means moving Ngani out of the starting line-up, which was a difficult choice. He has done a terrific job for us since coming into the side.

"As for Konrad, this is all part of his development. There's no question he's going to be a long-term first-grade player for. This is a chance for him to consolidate his game."

Having played so well against Melbourne Storm on Anzac Day, the Warriors should feel optimistic about their chances on Sunday at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Titans lost 30-6 to the Knights last weekend and were a side that looked to have few options on attack.

However, the Warriors have transformed into a team that's slow to start in games, to one that can't close them out to seal wins and time is running out for the team to make this a successful season.

Meanwhile, former Warriors under-20s premiership winner Mark Ioane has been chosen to make his NRL debut against his old club after being included in the Titans' squad. 
Ioane, a former Junior Kiwis prop who was a member of the Warriors' inaugural Toyota Cup-winning side in 2010, initially left Auckland for the Canberra Raiders the following year but failed to make an impression in the Australian capital and joined the Titans on a one-season deal for 2013. 

The 22-year-old front rower has been promoted to first grade on the basis of a sequence of impressive performances for the Titans' feeder club Burleigh Bears in Queensland's Super Cup.

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Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Jerome Ropati, Ben Henry, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (C), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Elijah Taylor, Pita Godinet, Ngani Laumape (one to be omitted.

Gold Coast Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Brad Takairangi, Jamal Idris, Anthony Don, Aiden Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Luke Bailey, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Nate Myles. Interchange: David Taylor, Mark Ioane, Ryan James, Sam Irwin, Steve Michaels (one to be omitted).

- Fairfax Media

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