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Plenty of 7s and 8s after a gutsy 13-12 loss to the Storm by a barely recognisable Warriors line-up.

3 PETA HIKU: Perennially panned for his showings at centre and five-eighth, it’s becoming more apparent fullback is the enigmatic Hiku’s best position. He made 18 runs, came up with some wonderful clean-up plays at the back and produced a sizzling try-assist in a busy playmaking outing. A dropped high ball was about all he could be faulted for. Unfortunately, the club already has the game’s best No.1 in their ranks – but a top-shelf fill-in. 8

2 GERARD BEALE: Few chances on attack but toiled for 13 runs and was excellent defensively up against Addo-Carr. 7

22 BLAKE AYSHFORD: Playing his first NRL game since 2017, Ayshford’s game was blighted by a pair of dropped balls near the Storm line – one which cost a certain try – but ran strongly otherwise and plugged up an edge without the ball. 6

21 PATRICK HERBERT: Wow, we will be dining out on this debut all weekend. What an NRL entrance. Herbert was an absolute terrier, coming up with a seemingly endless succession of huge defensive plays. Makes great decisions and hits hard, while he ran for over 100 metres despite limited opportunities. Kearney will lose all credibility if he is not retained. 8.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Big Ken ran in the Warriors’ only try of the second half and almost set one up earlier, but for Ayshford’s butterfingers. But the wing behemoth’s amazing return of 27 runs for 230 metres was a phenomenal contribution when you consider the Warriors only had 35 sets in the game. 8

12 TOHU HARRIS (c): Spent more than an hour in an unconventional halves role but was very effective. Laid on the opening try with a deft pass and actually wasn’t a bad stopgap, though his couple of kicking forays were unsuccessful. Still ran for 92 metres and was massive on defence with 35 tackles. 8

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: His raw inexperience was certainly exposed and his option-taking fell away as the second half wore on, but can’t be too hard on the kid under the circumstances. Had some good moments with the boot, too, and played a key role in Maumalo’s try and defended strongly. Confident and involved. 6.5

8 AGNATIUS PAASI: Best game of the year so far, making 30 tackles and leading the Warriors’ forwards with 126 metres. Took it to the Storm pack in an encouraging display looking forward. 7.5

9 ISSAC LUKE: Reminiscent of his 2018 form in an admirable 57-minute performance, running for 71 metres and kicking very astutely out of dummy-half. The Warriors are a different side offensively when he is on the park. 7.5

10 LEESON AH MAU: Great opening stint in a ball-running capacity, while he was a brick wall in defence with 40 tackles and no misses. Big game from the Kiwi Test prop. 7

11 ADAM BLAIR: The maligned Blair’s stunning fifth-minute try – running a great line off Harris – would have been the perfect middle finger to his army of critics had it not been his only run of the match. That’s just an extraordinary statistic for an 80-minute player. But some of his cover-defence efforts in the second half (among a game tally of 42 stops) were truly special and deserve recognition. 6.5

15 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Much better in a starting role, working ultra-hard on both sides of the ball throughout. Made nine carries and a team-high 47 tackles – including some very important stops on the Warriors’ left edge. A dropped ball was a minor black mark. 7

13 LACHLAN BURR: Played all but seven minutes and was highly impressive again with 14 runs (more than any other Warriors forward) and 45 tackles. Continues to make every post a winner, despite lacking the dynamism of most the NRL’s No.13s. 7.5


14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Only afforded 14 minutes, in which he made four runs and 14 tackles (no misses) without making too much of an impression. Interesting rotation from Kearney given the work the Warriors’ pack had to get through, but at least he wasn’t seconded to dummy-half again. 5.5

16 BUNTY AFOA: Very strong with the ball in 33 minutes on the field, making 11 carries – all of them tough ones. Also chipped in with 23 tackles in solid display. 6.5

17 NATHANIEL ROACHE: Played almost half the match, pairing 23 minutes at hooker with a back-row stint. Sound performance with four runs and 20 tackles as he gets used to playing regular footy. A class player who won’t let the side down in any position. 6

18 HAYZE PERHAM: Came on in the halves for the last 17 minutes but didn’t provide much of a taste of what he can do. Coupled his one run with a good offload and made nine tackles, but was largely a passenger during the tense conclusion to the match. 5

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