WARRIORS ROUND 1 PLAYER RATINGS

We’re still catching our breath after arguably the greatest Round 1 performance in the Warriors’ history, but we’ve patched together player ratings for all 17 heroes of the 32-20 victory over South Sydney.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Began with a jaw-dropping try-saver on Alex Johnston, produced two excellent try-assists in the second half and was positionally strong throughout. But nothing different to what he was doing in 2017 – just shows how much easier a quality team performance makes life on a fullback. 7.5

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: We’re calling it early – ‘Fus’ will be top-three in the NRL’s tryscoring race. Two outstanding finishes in the first half to put the Warriors on the front foot and he was otherwise sound. 7

3 PETA HIKU: Kept Inglis very quiet, topped 100 running metres and produced some nice touches. Probably robbed Fusitu’a of a hat-trick by not passing after a brilliant tap move, but the Warriors scored during the set anyway. Fine club debut. 6.5

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Certainly eventful – set up the first try with an aerial grab, scored a powerhouse second-half try to put the Warriors up by 20 and spent a stint in the bin. Some dicey moments on defence but an overall categorical pass mark. 6.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: A real mixed bag from big Ken. Topped the Warriors’ running metres tally with 135 and scored a try – just his 10th in 42 first-grade games – but countered those positives with being bundled into touch on his first carry, making a poor error early in the second half and producing some dodgy defensive reads. Still feels like an accident waiting to happen. 5.5

6 BLAKE GREEN: Maybe not the ‘buy of the year’ quality everyone was expecting but a very steady showing with a beautiful ball for Lisone to score the highlight-reel moment, along with a crafty 40/20. Such a cool head. 7

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: If that is the benchmark for 2018, SJ – and the Warriors – are in for a massive year. Threatened the Bunnies with every touch and had several nice involvements in try movements, but it was his sizzling bust (one of two line-breaks on the day) to set up Fusitu’a on halftime that made fans’ hearts melt. 8

8 JAMES GAVET: How can you not love this guy? The Warriors’ best forward in 2017 despite playing only 13 games, Gavet was a beast up front, drawing in defenders and hurting ball-runners. He’ll only get better with more game-time under his belt. 7

9 ISSAC LUKE: The biggest positive from an individual perspective, and probably the Warriors’ best in a tremendous team display. Clearly trimmed down, Luke was electric out of dummy-half – running for 93 metres – came up with a one-on-one steal and plenty of defence. Reminiscent, ironically, of his Souths heyday and a tantalising prospect for the season ahead. 8.5

10 ADAM BLAIR: Great quick hands to put Papali’i over and worked hard, particularly in the first half. A sideways play-the-ball that ruined the Warriors’ momentum soured his second-half effort, but eight runs for 73 metres and 21 tackles was a decent return and an adequate first hit-out for the club. 6

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: A few eyebrows were raised when the youngster was named in the starting side, but he wasn’t far off being the Warriors’ best afield. Scored the first try, racked up 11 runs for 107 metres and seemed to be everywhere. A breakout performance. 8

12 TOHU HARRIS: Transferred the qualities that were so valuable at Melbourne into his first outing in a Warriors jersey. Super hard-working with 24 tackles and 12 carries, produced a wonderful pass to put Fusitu’a over for his first, and seemed to be everywhere. Very hard not to froth over that effort. 7.5

13 LIGI SAO: OK, so the This Warriors Life team hasn’t been very complimentary about the no-frills Sao, spending much of the week trying to craft a ‘Sao’s ear’ pun after what we assumed would be another subpar showing. But despite having to fill Simon Mannering’s ridiculously industrious boots, it was hard to fault Ligi. Produced what Stephen Kearney must have seen in him to hand him 11 bench appearances last year and the No.13 jumper for Round 1. 6

 

14 SAM COOK: Waited a long time for his first grade debut, but didn’t put a foot wrong in the final 12 minutes after Luke went off injury. Has been handed a huge opportunity in the wake of Nate Roache’s season-ending injury and gave every indication he’s ready to take it. 5.5

15 LEIVAHA PULU: Really, really liked what the ex-Titan came up with in his first outing for the Warriors. Hard to handle in every one of his nine carries and should be a permanent member of Kearney’s 17. 7

16 SAM LISONE: Broke the duck with his maiden NRL try in his 64th game and was typically full-throttle every time he ran the ball. The Warriors need Lisone to stamp himself as a genuine first-grader and he took a solid first step in Perth. 7

17 BUNTY AFOA: The jury was out after Bunty’s first full season in the NRL last year, but he was just superb off the bench to kick off 2018. Topped the Warriors’ tackle count with 26 and led the team’s forwards with 127 metres from 13 carries. Probably deserves a Dally M point for his efforts. 8

READ: TWL RD 1 WRAP – REBORN WARRIORS DOMINATE SOUTHS

Facebook Comments


Categories: Previews + Reviews, WARRIORS NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: