WARRIORS ROUND 11 PLAYER RATINGS

No real duds and few big-time studs in the undermanned Warriors’ hard-fought 24-14 win over the Eels in Sydney.

3 PETA HIKU: A charmed beginning to his first start at fullback since he was at Manly, scoring a nifty try, looking quite comfortable at the back and making good yards. It threatened to go pear-shaped with an expletive-inducing run into touch but pulled it together in the latter stages – despite having his shorts on back to front. Certainly not enough to prompt Stephen Kearney to give RTS a few weeks’ paternity leave but decent. 6.5

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Breath-taking finish to open the Warriors’ account and ran powerfully all night. Great call from Kearney to resist the temptation to put him at the back – ‘Fus’ is an out-and-out winger. 7

18 GERARD BEALE: Didn’t look like a guy playing in an unfamiliar line-up in his second run back from a broken leg. Looked dangerous with every touch, absolutely sound on defence and just reeked of class and experience. Very tough team selection coming up when Roger returns. 7.5

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Fairly quiet on attack bar a couple of big charges but defended well and did little wrong. Still several rungs above where he was at late last year. 6.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Bravo again, big Ken. I could talk about Maumalo’s rise all day long. Another team-high running metres tally as he bent the line back at will, hand a key hand in Hiku’s try, earned penalties, came up big on defence and stayed mistake-free. If he was scoring tries on the reg he’d be the NRL’s most valuable winger of 2018 to date. 8

6 BLAKE GREEN: The stand-in skipper wasn’t at his best for the most part but kept the ship on course and came into his own in that crucial final 15 minutes with some valuable kicks – one of which led to a go-ahead try. 6.5

7 MASON LINO: Two early try-assists put a forgettable attacking display against the Roosters behind him but was pretty erratic with the ball thereafter. Very good defensively, though, racking up a huge 22 tackles – including a try-saver late in the first half. 6.5

16 JAMES GAVET: FFS, wind up a bit Jimmy! Credited with 93 metres from 11 carries but could have had half that tally again if he actually ran onto the ball rather than catching it flat-footed. But got stuck into his work after being promoted to the starting side in probably his best showing since returning from injury. 7

9 ISSAC LUKE: Clearly hampered by his dual injuries, Luke was immense. Reeled off 34 tackles, directed traffic superbly from dummy-half and – after shelving his running game for the most part – came up with some crucial charges in the latter stages, one of which provided him with the match-sealing try. A couple of errors there but under the circumstances he deserved to be carried shoulder-high from ANZ Stadium. 8

10 AGNATIUS PAASI: Led the Warriors forwards with 13 hit-ups for 109 metres and added 20 tackles, as well as bobbing up when his side was on attack. One of Iggy’s better outings this year. 7.5

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: The unlucky player to get sin-binned at the end of a run of penalties against the Warriors. Made up for his absence with some outstanding defensive work, though a return of just four runs for 28 metres was below par. 6

12 TOHU HARRIS: It can’t be denied any longer – Harris has assumed Mannering’s mantle as the Warriors’ forward-pack talisman. Absolutely wonderful with 44 tackles and 95 metres to his name, every single one of both high-quality. 8

13 ADAM BLAIR: Five runs for 40 metres, 16 tackles. Come on man, you’re the starting 13. His leadership, intimidation factor and work off the ball may be important pluses, but that doesn’t stop other players of his ilk pulling their weight in the fundamental areas of running the ball and tackling opposing players who are running the ball. Most of his carries were in the Eels’ 20. 6

8 BUNTY AFOA: Pushed back to the bench and by virtue of the way the game was flowing Parramatta’s way while he was on the field, didn’t have his usual busy impact with the ball (five runs for 48 metres). But made 25 tackles and was rock-solid in the middle, again proving his adaptability. 6.5

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Typically tenacious with 16 tackles and eight runs off the bench, while he urgency was rewarded with a crucial try to put the Warriors back in front. Not as good as some of his other backrow efforts but made sure Kearney can’t leave him out of the 17. 6.5

15 CHRIS SATAE: Only made one run – albeit a very strong one – after coming on for the middle period while the Eels were dominating possession but made some very important tackles among a total of 19. Absolutely fine with him filling in for any of our four props, and if I was Kearney I’d make the out-of-sorts Sam Lisone fight his way back into the side through ISP. 6

17 SIMON MANNERING: I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit poignant watching the old warhorse running around after news midweek that this season could be his last. One of those guys you just assumed would play on forever. Certainly good enough to keep going around, making 28 tackles and carting the ball eight time for 63 metres as Kearney’s bench experiment rolled into another week. 7

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