WARRIORS ELIMINATION FINAL PLAYER RATINGS

 

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Recovered from an ankle injury to take his place in the Warriors’ line-up but succumbed to a knee complaint midway through the first half, totally changing the trajectory of his team’s bid to stay alive. 5.5

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Finished off a try expertly to equal Francis Meli’s season tryscoring record and was one of the team’s better players – error-free with a strong running game. 7

3 PETA HIKU: Tested frequently by the Panthers attack while he was at centre, but the examination got even harder after his retrenchment to fullback. A fumble of a bomb that saw him concede a line dropout aside, an admirable effort filling in for one of the game’s best No.1 when his team was constantly under the pump. Ran for a team-high 154 metres and threw the last pass for Fusitu’a’s try. 7

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Conceded a penalty for a diagonal play-the-ball, coughed up the pill seconds after RTS’s injury and clumsily rushed out of the line to allow opposite number Peachey to score in the ensuing set – that horror period undid an otherwise solid game on both sides of the ball. 5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Big Ken went right off the boil in the closing rounds of the competition and couldn’t rediscover his mojo on the big stage. Ran for 147 metres on a team-high 19 carries but his timing was way off and the aggression and footwork that has turned him into such a valuable contributor in 2018 was missing. 5.5

6 BLAKE GREEN: Tried really hard and took the bulk of the playmaking responsibility, but couldn’t turn the tide. A gutsy performance to end a wonderful campaign. 6.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: A long run in the lead-up to the first try and two slick touches in the Warriors’ second could not have been a more misleading precursor to an anonymous display that cost the team big time. The Warriors were crying out for his creativity and brilliance but he seemed tired, off the pace and almost disinterested. He doesn’t have bigger fans than TWL, but SJ let his side down when it mattered most. 5

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8 JAMES GAVET: Recovered from an injury scare in the second tackle of the match to put up a tough performance, racking up 17 tackles and 77 metres, and popped a brilliant offload to spark Fusitu’a’s try. Finished the year strong. 6.5

9 ISSAC LUKE: Great determination to snare the opening try but his mid-set kick that went straight down Mansour’s throat led to the Panthers’ second try. Didn’t get enough from him in attack thereafter, but was inspirational in defence – most notably when he folded Maloney in half. 6

10 AGNATIUS PAASI: The Warriors’ standout forward and the only one to make of 100 metres, Paasi was at his wrecking-ball best when on the field. Another sensational signing. 7

11 ADAM BLAIR: It’s hard to get past his dumb offload near Penrith’s line when the Warriors were 12-2 up; that swung the momentum and the Panthers never looked back. But Blair otherwise ran willingly and was a trojan on defence. 6

12 TOHU HARRIS: Easily the Warriors’ busiest defender with 38 stops as the Panthers targeted Hiku and Johnson, while he made a number of strong charges (8 runs for 83 metres) and had a hand in Fusitu’a’s try. 7

13 SIMON MANNERING: A fittingly hardworking display from the great man with 25 tackles and 11 carries, though there were no standout highlights and he was caught short defensively as Maloney scored. Exited the game when he was still a top-class contributor. What a career. 6

 

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: As always added a tonne of energy, powering through 30 tackles and 15 runs off the bench as one of the team’s best performers and certainly their busiest. Let down by giving away three penalties, including one in the first set of the second half. 6.5

15 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Reeled off a remarkable 23 tackles in limited time, and ran strongly with limited opportunities. 6

16 BUNTY AFOA: Some outstanding defence among his 20 tackles, particularly near the Warriors line. Carted it up six times. Great season. 6

17 GERARD BEALE: The RTS injury made most fans thankful Kearney opted to carry a centre on the bench and he held down the difficult right edge spot well. But not as zippy and polished in attack as Hiku when the Warriors could really have done with a spark. 5.5

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