WARRIORS ROUND 6 PLAYER RATINGS

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Marks out of 10 for the one-man-band Warriors’ excruciating 17-10 loss to the struggling Cowboys in Round 6.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Beyond phenomenal yet again – the only player who looks like he’s keen to play finals footy again in 2019. Two line-breaks, six tackle-breaks, a brilliant try, 161 metres and some customary clean-up work at the back. A basic error from a long kick did prove crucial, though, allowing the Cowboys to reclaim the lead in the second half. Still a mega-stud. 8

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Starved of attacking chances, ‘Fus’ was strong with the ball in racking up 13 runs for 134 metres (42 post-contact) and some spectacular grabs. But a boneheaded penalty in the second half gave the Cowboys a huge leg up – and he left the field injured minutes later. 6.5

4 SOLOMONE KATA: Certainly better than he has been, with not blatant defensive gaffes and a decent attacking workload with 10 runs for 78 metres. If he hasn’t been axed yet, he certainly won’t be on the strength of that somewhat satisfactory display – though he was still a target for disgruntled social media types. 5.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Good finish to bag the first try of the match (remarkably, the third time he has done that in a row against the Cowboys) and finished with team-high tallies of 164 run metres and 65 post-contact metres, despite the Cowboys’ kickers avoiding him like the plague. Solid. 7

3 PETA HIKU: All at sea in the halves, offering nothing as a playmaker and running the ball for just 39 metres. Targeted in defence and his massive 29-tackle contribution excuses his customary team-high missed tackle count. 5

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Beautiful pass to set up Maumalo’s try and courageous in defence with Josh McGuire constantly aiming his runs at the rookie. But shelved his running game (three carries for 16 metres), looked unsure on the last tackle and failed to pressure the Cowboys with his kicking game. Hard to blame the kid with Hiku alongside him instead of Green for the second week in a row, but definitely a step back from his first two impressive outings. 5.5

8 AGNATIUS PAASI: Outstanding opening spell but was used sparingly thereafter, finishing with 76 metres on nine runs and 24 tackles in just 30 minutes on the park. Good return for the game-time. 6.5

9 ISSAC LUKE: Like Paasi, super in the opening half-hour, jumping and darting and kicking and getting the Warriors’ second-phase going, producing a line-break assist and reeling off 21 tackles. But wasn’t sighted after being benched in the 33rd minute. Inexplicable from Kearney. 7

10 LEESON AH MAU: Hardworking as always with 31 tackles and nine runs for 85 metres. A bit tough on Leeson as he’s pretty much a straight up and down player, but would be good to see more authority from the team’s only New Zealand Test front-rower. 6

11 ADAM BLAIR: More of the same – and some bonus garbage. Six runs for 35 metres, two penalties conceded, and two dreadful handling errors – one which cost a certain try in the early stages and another that foiled a genuine chance to draw level inside the final 10 minutes. A handsome tally of 39 tackles plus a one-on-one strip were modest positives. For better or worse, we’ve come to accept his below-par work-rate, but he’s also lacking the fire that used to be his trademark. Should be dropped, but won’t be. 4.5

12 TOHU HARRIS: Led the Warriors’ forwards with 127 metres (including 50 post-contact) and chewed through 40 tackles with no misses, as well as being one of the team’s few genuine attacking threats. Maybe it’s just his way and we’ve just rarely seen him lose playing with the Storm, but he just doesn’t seem gutted enough with a loss that is destined to have such a dramatic impact on their season. 7

13 LACHLAN BURR: It’s no secret that TWL has been pining for a lock with some more dynamic qualities, but given the team’s performance so far it’s hard to fault Burr. Made an enormous 46 tackles and a line-break among 123 metres from 13 runs. One of the Warriors’ top three of four performers in 2019 so far. 7

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: The selection of Roache on the bench seemingly meant Jazz would exclusively be a middle forward tonight, but nonetheless spent a 20-minute stint at dummy-half that included one of the worst handling errors you’ll see when cleaning up an innocuous deflected kick. Didn’t do much with the ball after his move to the back-row, but finished with 48 tackles – and no misses – to underline a level of commitment putting several teammates to shame. 6

16 BUNTY AFOA: The Warriors’ most consistent forward over the opening five round and hard to fault the burgeoning cult hero tonight. Ten runs for 99 metres and 29 tackles with no misses in 34 minutes. The team is probably better served with the aggressive Afoa in the run-on side. 6.5

17 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Got 58 minutes off the bench and churned through 43 tackles, but came up with a miss in the Cowboys’ first try and ran the ball just six times. Not bad, but not great. 5.5

18 NATHANIEL ROACHE: A line-break was the highlight of his 25 minutes at dummy-half, with the silky utility looking otherwise a bit out of kilter on attack. Made 21 defensive stops. 5.5

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