Individual evaluations for a solid but frustrating team performance in an 8-2 loss to the Broncos.
1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Had 18 runs for 146 metres and three offloads but was very well-contained by the Broncos. His impact was especially blunted near the opposition try-line when the Warriors were crying out for an extra point of attack. 6.5
2 DAVID FUSITU’A: A Maumalo-like effort as a metre-eating winger with 198 metres, including an extremely impressive game-high 77 post-contact metres. Starved of decent attacking chances by the sloppy work of his teammates, but hard to fault what ‘Fus’ put up on the night. 7.5
3 PETA HIKU (Ngāriki Kaiputahi): Much better than usual defensively but otherwise made a minimal impression, besides two errors. 6
4 PATRICK HERBERT (Ngāi Tūhoe): His attacking impact was blunted by the Warriors’ obsession with going out to their left side. Very good without the ball, containing young Broncos danger-man Kotoni Staggs. Horrible penalty goal miss was a wee bit crucial. 6
5 KEN MAUMALO: The Warriors’ best, charging for a game-high 211 metres and coming up with some big plays at the back, as well as attracting a couple of penalties with his quick play-the-balls. Credited with three errors, one of which was an absolute farce at a crucial stage inside the final 15 minutes as he again was too quick for the Broncos ruck defenders. Also ruled out by a bat-shit blind touchie when he produced a miraculous offload to keep the ball in play. The NRL’s form winger – there, I said it. 8
It’s Ken Maumalo v Payne Haas basically.
— Hamberder Covfefe (@T_dogNZ) May 25, 2019
6 KODI NIKORIMA (Ngāi Tahu Nga Rāuru): Looked super-dangerous with the ball in the first half and forced a line dropout with an astute, off-the-cuff kick from 30 metres out. The Warriors need him to step up on the last more often, while he went missing a bit in the latter stages with the match on the line. Ran for over 100 metres, however. 6.5
7 BLAKE GREEN: Probably his busiest running game as a Warrior, finishing with 88 metres – but his clever darts came to nothing with only cumbersome forwards in support. Perhaps no one else had the memo he was going to test the defensive line tonight? Kicking game had some bright spots but was ultimately found wanting, while his passing is too slow near the opposition try-line. 6
Yep. One dimensional stuff.
As a half, Blake Green is a solid, reliable journeyman. Only problem is that nobody has won jack shit with solid, reliable journeymen halves.
— Keith Miller (@keith_miller_nz) May 25, 2019
15 ADAM BLAIR (Ngā Puhi): Given a reprieve by Paasi’s suspension and then given a surprise front-row start. But Blair responded with arguably his best game of 2019; undoubtedly it was statistically, running for 84 metres on 11 carries and making 44 tackles (no misses). 7
9 ISSAC LUKE (Ngā Ruahine Rangi, Te Āti Awa): ‘Bully’ racked up 81 running metres and 35 tackles in a busy 63 minutes that should secure his NRL spot regardless of Nate Roache’s fitness. Created problems for the Broncos but a little erratic and needs to be a more regular kicking option. 7
10 LEESON AH MAU: Dud offload early but worked hard with nine carries and chewing threw 35 tackles. Still not quite the dominant, enforcer-style front-rower the Warriors are craving, despite his Test status. 6
11 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: A couple of missteps but churned through a game-high 48 tackles and ran for 112 metres. This kid’s got a big heart and will only get better. 7
12 TOHU HARRIS (Ngāti Kahungunu): Just shaded by Big Ken as his team’s standout, leading the pack with 20 carries for 160 metres and making 33 defensive stops. Always looked one of his side’s most likely and just such a classy, reliable performer. 8
13 LACHLAN BURR: Limited impact with the ball (7 runs for 54 metres) but was a defensive workhorse with 43 tackles. Dependable as – but would be nice to have someone more dynamic at lock. 6
14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Lasted only nine minutes before departing with a concerning ankle injury. Still managed three runs and five tackles in his brief stint. Key to the Warriors’ mojo. 5
Concern for Jazz Tevaga is left high ankle sprain (syndesmosis injury) as tackler comes down on foot causing it to turn out (bottom left of screen). Possible fracture, won’t return. General recovery guide:
Fracture: 10+wks#NRLWarriorsBroncos pic.twitter.com/yvWivH3wg6
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) May 25, 2019
8 BUNTY AFOA: Incredibly busy in 35 minutes off the pine with 12 runs for 122 metres and 17 tackles, regularly popping up in support. Deserving of a start – and potentially a Kiwis call-up next month. 7
16 LIGI SAO: We saw the best of Ligi against the Dragons – and the worst tonight against the Broncos. Came up with two of the Warriors’ five penalties conceded in just 29 minutes on the field, including a boneheaded leg-grab effort that led directly to the only try of the match. See you in Canterbury Cup. 5
I’m having a word with you.
Green, I’m having a word with you also.
Luke dropping that ball summed up our night.#WeAreWarriors
— Stephen “Mooks” Kearney (@NZWarCoach) May 25, 2019
17 KARL LAWTON: Added spark in his half-hour on the paddock, making 45 metres on four runs and 20 tackles. A quality option at dummy-half or in the back-row. 6