The Warriors helped continue the rousing start to the season from the NRL’s bottom four of 2017. The Warriors, Knights and Tigers are among five undefeated teams remaining in the competition after two rounds, while the Titans are 1-1 after losing on their road trip to Auckland. Stephen Kearney’s side sits second on the ladder with a +24 points differential, just two points shy of the table-topping Dragons.
The Warriors have started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2009 – and just the third time in the club’s 24-season history (2007 was the other season they opened their campaign with two wins). This week in Canberra the Warriors will chase their first-ever 3-0 start.
After a relatively low running metres output in Round 1, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck led the way with 207 metres in the win over the Titans to climb into the NRL’s top 10 after two rounds. Tuivasa-Sheck is also first-equal in the competition for line-breaks (3) and equal-fourth for try-assists (3).
Shaun Johnson also has three line-break and three try-assists in the opening fortnight of 2018, but perhaps his most impressive stat is his 13 tackle-breaks – behind only Jordan Rapana in the NRL. Johnson also leads all halfbacks with 77 running metres per game.
“I don’t think there’s a better player to watch in the NRL when he’s on song”
“He’s the most talent player in the NRL”
Greg Alexander and Mark Gasnier all over Shaun Johnson prematch.
— Jason Oliver (@JasonNRL) March 17, 2018
On fire in general play, Johnson landed two goals from four attempts to take his season tally to just six from 11 shots at goal – a 54.5 percent success rate, well down on his career average of 73.8.
Issac Luke leads all hookers in the running metres (188) and tackle-breaks (6, equal with Damien Cook) categories.
David Fusitu’a’s second straight double saw him surge to an early lead on the NRL’s tryscoring table. The tall winger now boasts 36 tries in 59 NRL games at the healthy strike-rate of 0.61 tries per game. Fusitu’a is a fan of multiple tryscoring efforts, notching eight doubles, a hat-trick and a haul of four tries in his career to date.
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) March 17, 2018
Tohu Harris led the Warriors’ tackle count for the second week in a row with 35, taking his season tally to 61 – equal-28th in the league. Luke and Bunty Afoa are the Warriors’ next best with 51 across two games.
Another hard-running performance sees Ken Mauamlo ranked 15th in the metres gained department with 140 per game, but he also heads the Warriors’ error count with three – a snapshot of his biggest strength and weakness.
Blair and Solomone Kata are the only Warriors players to concede more than one penalty so far this season, giving up three apiece (equal-seventh in the NRL).
The Warriors have four players in the NRL’s top 10 for offloads after last weekend’s second-phase-heavy win over the Titans. Adam Blair and Peta Hiku (6 each) are ranked equal-fourth, while Leivaha Pulu and Tuivasa-Sheck (5) are equal-ninth.
Hiku is also humming along in the tackle-break stakes, recording eight so far – equal-17th in the NRL and third among centres.
Here are the top @SuperCoachNRL performers for Rd 2:
FLB: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – 130
CTW: Peta Hiku – 85
5/8: Blake Austin – 74
HFB: Daly Cherry-Evans – 133
FRF: Jake Trbojevic – 115
HOK: Andrew McCullough – 88
2RF: Josh Jackson – 91
— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) March 19, 2018
The following selections paid out after the Warriors’ 20-8 win over Gold Coast (via NZ TAB)
-Warriors win @ $1.35
-Warriors 12 & Under @ $3.00
-Warriors -8.5 @ $1.87
-Warriors by 7-12 @ $6.00
-Under 45.5 Points @ $1.87
-Half/Full Time Double – Warriors/Warriors @ $1.67
-1st Try Scorer – David Fusitu’a @ $7.50
-To Score 2 or More Tries – David Fusitu’a @ $2.90
How good has the Warriors start to the season been! We've now got them at $1.85 to make the Top 8.
Are you backing them to play Finals Footy in 2018?
— TAB Sport (@TAB_Sport) March 19, 2018
OBSCURE STAT CORNER
Ken Maumalo has managed just 10 tries in 43 NRL games at a snail-paced 0.23 per game – not just a poor return for a winger, but modest for anyone except the most no-frills of front-rowers.
CURRENT PLAYERS WHO HAVE PLAYED LESS GAMES THAN KEN MAUMALO AND SCORED MORE TRIES
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Knights backrower) – 11 tries in 22 games (0.50 per game)
Coen Hess (Cowboys interchange forward) – 19 tries in 38 games (0.50 per game)
Bevan French (Eels winger/fullback) – 28 tries in 31 games (0.90 per game)
Nick Cotric (Raiders winger) – 16 tries in 26 games (0.62 per game)
Michael Oldfield (Raiders winger) – 19 tries in 30 games (0.63 per game)
Kerrod Holland (Bulldogs centre) – 11 tries in 26 games (0.42 per game)
Marcelo Montoya (Bulldogs winger) – 12 tries in 21 games (0.57 per game)
Kane Elgey (Titans five-eighth) – 14 tries in 37 games (0.38 per game)
Brendan Elliot (Titans utility-back) – 19 tries in 37 games (0.51 per game)
Brenko Lee (Titans centre) – 15 tries in 33 games (0.45 per game)
Josh Addo-Carr (Storm winger) – 31 tries in 38 games (0.82 per game)
Got to be someone better who can play on the other wing for the Warriors than Ken Maumalo. #NRLWarriorsTitans
— Elli🤔tt Smith (@elliottnz) March 17, 2018
UNFASHIONABLE WINGERS WITH A BETTER CAREER STRIKE-RATE THAN KEN MAUMALO
Ian Herron (1990-98): 74 games – 18 tries (0.24 tries per game)
Daryl Halligan (1991-2000): 230 games – 80 tries (0.35 tries per game)
Luke Covell (2003-2010): 153 games – 62 tries (0.41 tries per game)
Scott Minto (2002-07): 53 games – 15 tries (0.28 tries per game)
Michael Bani (2007-11): 41 games – 16 tries (0.39 tries per game)
Justin Ryder (2000-02): 27 games – 9 tries (0.33 tries per game)
Brett Plowman (1988-1997): 103 games – 25 tries (0.24 tries per game)
Eion Crossan (1992-95): 45 games – 11 tries (0.24 tries per game)