WARRIORS ROUND 14 PLAYER RATINGS

Marks out of 10 for each Warrior after the team’s 34-14 drubbing of Manly in Christchurch. Sucks to be a Dally M judge only being able to dish out points to three players when there were at least four man-of-the-match contenders.

 

3 PETA HIKU: Terrific stand-in performance from the former Kiwi Test fullback – what a luxury to have a player of his calibre to deputise for Roger. Racked up 158 metres on 20 carries, chimed in on attack and was faultless at the back. 8

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: A powerful bust that led to a try-assist with Shaun Johnson scoring and then a dazzling nine-minute hat-trick to surge back into the lead in the NRL tryscoring race – it was quite the second half from ‘Fus’. Carried strongly all night, too, with 10 runs for 102 metres, but his finishing is just out of this world. Such a good foil for the workhorse on the other flank. Played so well the commentary team tried to give him four tries. 8.5

18 GERARD BEALE: The least eye-catching Warriors back but did his job well enough. Nine runs for 72 metres and 10 tackles with no genuine standout moments. 6

4 SOLOMONE KATA: A barnstorming effort from Sol, trampling the Manly defence for 144 metres, a line-break – which gave the Warriors field position for their second try – and four tackle-busts. 8

5 KEN MAUMALO: Anyone who’s followed TWL this season knows that we’ve got a bit of a thing for Big Ken, and he just makes it so easy to love him. He is genuinely a Manu-like powerhouse out of the Warriors’ end now, finishing with a game-high 176 metres on 17 carries, including one blockbusting 50-metre charge that was largely responsible for his four tackle-breaks and led to the first try. Ruthlessly targeted Cherry-Evans and sent him flying on more than one occasion. 8.5

6 BLAKE GREEN (c): Got the Warriors rolling with a try-assist on each edge for his second-rowers with deft short balls. The second for Tohu Harris was a real peach. Also racked up 19 tackles and kicked well, before slipping into a support role as Johnson, Luke and co. started carving up on the right. 8

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: What a return. Had some nice touches in the first half before exploding after the break, backing up for a memorable try and putting on two brilliant try-assists – one with a line-break and pass, the other with an inch-perfect grubber. Proved he is the one player the Warriors can’t go deep into September without. 9

8 JAMES GAVET: Justified his starting spot this week with a strong contribution of 12 runs for 121 metres and upped his defensive average with 21 stops. Held the middle well on both sides of the ball. 7

9 ISSAC LUKE: The renaissance of ‘Bully’ continues. Another dazzling performance, troubling the Sea Eagles defence regularly from dummy-half. He was at the forefront of the Warriors’ attacking blitz after the break, putting Johnson through a hole in the lead-up to Fusitu’a’s first try, laying on his second with his imitation of a fullback sweeping around the back before producing a beautiful cut-out ball, and having a key hand in his third. Just brilliant. 8.5

10 AGNATIUS PAASI: Really took it upon himself to take the Warriors pack forward, finishing with 149 metres form 16 runs and consistently bending the Manly line back. Has to be a contender for the Denver Test on the strength of his recent efforts. 8

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Barged over for the first try, worked his arse off for 31 tackles and made 10 carries. Gave no reason for Stephen Kearney to switch him back to the bench. 7 

12 TOHU HARRIS: Ran a great line off Green for the Warriors’ second try and put up excellent numbers yet again, including a team-high 37 tackles and making 15 runs for 131 metres. The team’s most essential forward. 8

13 ADAM BLAIR: Great start to the match with five strong runs in his first stint, but was barely sighted afterwards. Finished with six runs and 21 tackles – not exactly enough to get us off his back, given his opposing No.13 made 42 tackles and 12 runs less than 72 hours after playing an Origin game. 6

 

14 KARL LAWTON: Just a short cameo for the utility, consisting of nine tackles and one run. 5 

15 CHRIS SATAE: Great impact again from the imposing front-rower and also worked hard in defence, ending up with 20 tackles and five runs for 45 metres. Despite reportedly signing for Melbourne for next season it’s difficult seeing Sam Lisone unseating him from the bench at this stage. 6.5 

16 BUNTY AFOA: A solid contribution of 18 tackles and five runs for 43 metres in limited minutes. Afoa has been so good this year – arguably the Warriors’ best prop – so it’s hard for us seeing him used sparingly. 6

17 SIMON MANNERING: After quite possibly the only genuinely bad game of his illustrious, ultra-consistent career against Souths, Mannering atoned with a great game off the pine. Denied a powerhouse try by Paasi’s dodgy play-the-ball but made 90 metres from nine runs and 27 tackles with no misses. If that’s the standard he can definitely go around again next year. 7

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