The New Zealand Warriors have recalled Adam Blair for the game with the Brisbane Broncos this weekend at Mount Smart Stadium for Round 11 of the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition.
Blair will be manning the bench. Prop Agnatious Paasi is serving a one-game suspension for the crime of a dangerous throw. Bunty Afoa has been promoted to the starting side and that created the opening for Blair.
The balance of the side is the same one that ran out at Panthers Stadium and embarrassed Penrith 30 – 10.
Brisbane are not Penrith, but the Warriors can take pride in sending Penrith to the bottom of the ladder.
New Zealand are currently 10th on the ladder, playing the 11th ranked Broncos.
One of the bookies is quoting New Zealand as 1.5-point favourites. This game is a good punt for those who can pick the winner and cover the line, but like the Sharks v the Dragons at WIN Stadium, the game between the Warriors and the Broncos should ward off the sensible punters.
As for Blair, he may or not see ground time, but by his own admission, he is in the middle of a rough patch. His defense has been adequate, but on the left edge, he has not had much influence on offense.
Blair is returning from his own suspension. He played well for the reserve grade.
If Blair does get on, he will certainly enjoy playing his accustomed position in the middle. Blair will be making his 298 appearance in the first grade.
Mount Smart has been temporarily renamed Rarotonga Mount Smart Stadium as part of the Indigenous Round.
The game will also serve as a tribute to Quentin Pongia, with the players wearing the number 52 Pongia wore in 1998.
Pongia passed away last Saturday.