TWL WARRIORS ROUND 5 PLAYER RATINGS

The 7 and 8 keys got a work-out after the Warriors’ 22-12 victory over the Cowboys in front of a packed house at Mount Smart.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Clean-up work at the back was first-rate but didn’t have to do a lot on attack, running for just 90 metres and mostly staying out of the playmaking. Just a good, solid outing from the skipper. 7

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Two slick finishes and his kick-return game was strong. On course to become the first Warrior since 2010 to rack up 20 tries in a season. 7

3 PETA HIKU: Plenty of metres and a great try-assist. Missed tackles are still a concern, but another positive display. 7

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Rampaging run to set up Maumalo in the first five minutes and was a handful all night, terrorising the Cowboys from dummy-half. Back to his best and then some. 8

5 KEN MAUMALO: If big Ken is going to score tries and stop them as well as racking up team-high running-metre tallies, he’s pretty much the complete wing package – and everything I’ve said about him in the past two years has been wrong. Absolutely outstanding. 8.5

6 BLAKE GREEN: Another typical Blake Green performance without the highlight-reel moments of last week. The influence of his cool head can’t be understated though. 7

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Would’ve been feeling a touch of pressure coming up against Thurston after the job Lino did opposite Cronk, but underlined his class with a brilliant try-assist, a 40/20, flawless goalkicking and generally authoritative performance. Eased the Green-mania by taking the bulk of the responsibility for steering the team around. 8

8 BUNTY AFOA: Another strong effort up front from the tyro, reeling off 25 tackles and nine runs. Continues to come of age and wouldn’t look out of place on the Kiwis’ end-of-year tour if he chooses to go that way. 7.5

9 ISSAC LUKE: Just about his best yet. Scintillating from dummy-half with 96 metres and got through 32 tackles, while his all-round enthusiasm is playing a bit part in the Warriors’ success. A vintage performance in what is shaping as a vintage year. 8.5

10 AGNATIUS PAASI: Ran hard, tackled hard – not quite as dynamic as last week but another sound hit-out. 6.5

11 LEIVAHA PULU: Excellent first half but was benched until the final 10 minutes. Held together the left edge in defence when out there and ran strongly. No complaints here. 6.5

12 TOHU HARRIS: Industrious on both sides and dangerous with the ball. Racked up 31 tackles and caused the Cowboys frequent headaches in a 13-run effort. 8

13 ADAM BLAIR: Two errors straight after points (one which led to the Cowboys’ first points), several loose passes and an infuriating penalty (which led to the Cowboys’ second try). On the plus side, he topped the tackle count with a massive 43 and brought great energy as usual. 6.5

Interchange:

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Big minutes again and made them count with 31 tackles and 10 carries. Doing everything possible to retain his spot in the 17. 7

15 SAM LISONE: Decent in his return from suspension, making six strong hit-ups and 11 tackles. 6

16 SIMON MANNERING: Outstanding return from the Warrior’s Warrior. Played 60 minutes and was great in attack and defence, making 20 tackles – including some key ones near his team’s try-line, and nine penetrating runs for 71 metres. 7.5

17 ANTHONY GELLING: An even briefer outing than his debut last week, recording one hit-up and zero tackles. 2

 

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