TWL PLAYER RATINGS: WARRIORS V PANTHERS

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Marks out of 10 for the Warriors players after a shattering golden point defeat to the Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK: A couple of shaky moments on the try-line during the second half and trumped twice as Penrith rookie Brent Naden bagged a double. But ran for a massive 277 metres – always turning up to do the tough carries – and put Fusitu’a over for a try. Struggled a bit to inject himself into the backline otherwise in his milestone game. 7.5 

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: One of the out-of-sorts flyer’s best performance of 2019. Racked up 144 metres and scored a trademark try with no room to move. Encouraging moving forward if the Warriors can get him more ball. 7.5

3 PETA HIKU: Classy centre play to outstrip Isaah Yeo for the first try, ran for over 100 metres – regularly coming in for some crucial charges – and handled Dean Whare well defensively. The maligned journeyman has been in pretty decent touch of late. 7

4 PATRICK HERBERT: Solomone Kata left the club midweek but his ghost haunted the right centre spot today. Herbert was found out badly in defence by Viliame Kikau and fellow rookie Naden, fended off as the latter streaked away for the pivotal try. Also chucked an offload over the sideline. A clutch penalty goal to send the match into golden point was the only bright spot. TWL have been big fans of The Herb but a recalibrating stint in reserve grade might be on the cards. 4

5 KEN MAUMALO: Not as astonishingly good as recent weeks, but ran for 169 metres, cleaned up very well at the back and made a long sideline run followed by a deft kick that almost produced a try. 7.5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: Kicked more but still not enough. Ran the ball 13 times for 73 metres but still needed to bring more spark. Playing very much a support role to a half that badly needs someone to help him take games by the scruff of the neck. 5

7 BLAKE GREEN: Tried his guts out, but it’s becoming more apparent he does not possess the all-round game to be the dominant half the Warriors require. Kicking game was sound but still lacks distance and variety, while there was little from a playmaking perspective to get excited about in his 150th NRL game. 5.5

8 AGNASTIUS PAASI: Toiled for 140 metres on 14 carries and made 26 tackles. Not in the class of the Penrith bookends, however, and came up with a poor pass fumbled by Leeson Ah Mau. 6

9 KARL LAWTON: Solid enough from the newly re-signed rake, injecting a bit of spark at times and racking up 29 tackles. Not quite the authority the Warriors would like at dummy-half. 6

10 LEESON AH MAU: Worked hard (34 tackles, 122 metres) but, nothing against him, he is a pretty straight-up-and-down grafter type. Would be a better foil if the Warriors had more explosive types to rotate him with. 6

11 ADAM BLAIR: Back on the edge and much more palatable from a work-rate perspective, combining 35 tackles – including several outstanding cover efforts – with 11 runs for 100 metres. Rarely does himself any favours in post-match interviews following a loss. 6.5

12 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Looks like Mr T and currently doing enough to warrant a place in the Warriors’ A-Team. Reeled off 38 tackles, though would be good to see him do more in attack (nine runs for 81 metres today) – particularly during this period with Tohu Harris out. 6

13 JAZZ TEVAGA: Given a rare start in his preferred position and made it count, notching some phenomenal numbers – 22 runs for 191 metres and a team-high 49 tackles. One of the few Warriors forwards TWL would hate to lose. 7.5

 

14 NATE ROACHE:  Showed his class with a slick first-half try-assist and a line-break in the second stanza, but the latter led to what is potentially a cruel season-ending knee injury. 6

15 BUNTY AFOA: Got through a mountain of work in 36 minutes on the paddock – 115 metres and 23 tackles (no misses) – as well as ending a 41-game try drought. 6.5

16 SAM LISONE: Given an NRL recall and was satisfactory at best in 26 minutes, making seven runs and 13 tackles. 5

17 LEIVAHA PULU: Got a long-awaited first-grade chance – his first of 2019 – but inexplicably did not run the ball once in 24 minutes of game-time. Disappointing from a player that can make a difference in a limited pack. 4

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