WARRIORS ROUND 8 PLAYER RATINGS

Individual appraisals for a collective Warriors dog’s breakfast against the Knights.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Slick try-assist and forced line dropout with a grubber were rare highlights for the returning skipper. The Knights did a spectacular job nullifying RTS’s impact, restricting him to just 88 running metres (!) on 13 carries by kicking over the sideline at every chance. Scything tackle on SKD to save a try was another plus. Outplayed by Ponga. 6

17 GERARD BEALE: Worked hard for 125 metres on 17 carries and threatened a few times, but looks a mere fill-in on the wing in attack. No complaints, just not dynamic enough. 5.5

3 PETA HIKU: A real mixed bag. Made two line-breaks and 133 metres, had a try-assist and looked the Warrior most likely to break the game open on attack, but was caught on the last, made a bad handling error and came up with a woeful (but customary, and among other subpar efforts defensive efforts) miss to let Sione Mata’utia score. 5

4 PATRICK HERBERT: ‘The Herb’s’ fairytale introduction to the NRL continued when he steamed onto RTS’s pass for the first try, but was rarely sighted thereafter – besides bundling Ponga into touch in the first set of the second half. Did little wrong but needs to get far more involved – like he did on debut. 6

5 KEN MAUMALO: The Warriors’ best by the length of St George Street in Papatoetoe. Big Ken’s long-awaited maiden NRL double made up for being outjumped by Shaun Kenny-Dowall, while he managed a game-high 218 metres on 22 runs – plus eight tackle-breaks, another best-on-ground stat – despite Newcastle’s kickers avoiding him like the plague. 8

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: The team’s most dangerous playmaker by far, which made the decision to bench him with 11 minutes left all the more baffling. Sparked the Warriors’ left side with just about every touch, racked up 21 tackles and knocked over three conversions from out wide. Can still play a big role in 2019, despite Kodi Nikorima’s arrival. 7

7 BLAKE GREEN: The angry loner you drafted in to make up the numbers in your Wednesday touch team that one time played with more cohesion than Kakairiki did back in the Warriors’ No.7 jumper today. A pinpoint kick to set up Maumalo’s first try was a lone highlight – Green’s clunkiness brought the Warriors’ attack to grinding halt on numerous occasions, while his kicking game was otherwise dreadful. 4.5

8 AGNATIUS PAASI: The Warriors’ best forward with 13 runs for 128 metres, 34 tackles and a rousing six tackle-breaks. Tried to inspire his side with a hectic burst of energy on both sides of the ball midway through the second half, but had no one to back him up. 7.5

9 ISSAC LUKE: Not his fault he spent 26 minutes of the game on the bench as Kearney’s bench rotation continues to confound, but ‘Bully’s’ 54 minutes on the paddock were pedestrian by his standards. 5.5

10 LEESON AH MAU: Doing a job – 99 running metres and 30 tackles are solid statlines from 50 minutes – but he’s a grafter when the Warriors need a David Klemmer-like leader in the front-row. That may not be Ah Mau’s bag…but he’s the only Kiwi Test prop in the Warriors’ squad. 5

11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Uncustomarily low involvement on attack (seven runs for 49 metres) was dented further by a poor handling error, but was a defensive demon with 48 tackles. 5.5

12 TOHU HARRIS: A frequent danger on attack and ran for 110 metres, but a low-percentage offload that was only ever going to end up with the Knights at a vital second-half juncture sullied his game. Made 30 tackles but missed a team-high five. Some good moments but not his best. 6

13 LACHLAN BURR: Worst game of the season from one of the NRL’s best bargain buys. Gave away a dumb lifting penalty (and will spend time on the sidelines because of it) in the lead-up to the Knights’ first try, and carted the ball up just nine times in 65 minutes. 5

14 NATHANIEL ROACHE: Played almost half the match at hooker and as a running forward, but lacked the necessary spark at dummy-half and the required robustness during his backrow stint. Toiled for 25 tackles. 5

15 ADAM BLAIR: Demoted to the bench and deployed back in the middle during his 47 minutes of game-time, Blair took the hint and chalked up eight runs for 70 metres – statistical increases of 800% and 538% on last week respectively. Also reeled off 31 tackles. But gave away two frustrating penalties, one of which gifted the Knights two points. Negative Adam Blair comments on Twitter trounced positive Adam Blair comments on Twitter 19-0. 5

18 HAYZE PERHAM: Pitched in for the last 11 minutes for CHT when the Warriors were chasing points – a stupid position to put the kid in. Tried to add some spark but his teammates had already given up the ghost. 4

23 CHRIS SATAE: TWL are big fans of Satae’s inclusion, and he made four runs for 32 metres and 16 tackles (no misses) in 21 minutes on the field without making a huge impact. Worthy of more opportunities. 5

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