TWL RD 2 PLAYER RATINGS: WARRIORS V RAIDERS

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Let me preface this by confirming TWL could not admire the team and the club more for the character they have shown in the past week – but at an individual level there was little to get excited about from the Warriors’ 20-6 loss to the Raiders.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Ran for a team-high 207 metres, snuffed out a few dangerous situations at the back and was typically industrious on attack. But is struggling to link with his listless playmakers and the Warriors aren’t able to get the most out of RTS’s best attributes because he’s having to try to create chances from nothing, rather than getting the ball with a half-chance already created for him. 7.5

2 ADAM POMPEY: Better than expected is about as positively as Pompey’s performance can be summed up. A sound player, but just lacks the pizzazz the Warriors’ backline requires. A couple of encouraging moments, a couple of poor ones. 5.5

3 DAVID FUSITU’A: ‘Fus’ looks too bulky. He’s hard to handle but doesn’t seem likely to break the line and stride into open spaces or create an opportunity for his winger. The concern is, will he even be effective if shifted back to the wing when he’s in this shape? 5

4 ADAM KEIGHRAN: The most dangerous member of the three-quarter line – a sign as worrying for the Warriors as it is encouraging for Keighran. Ran for 100 metres and almost cut through for a try early on. Couple of late handling errors blotted a handy performance. 7

5 KEN MAUMALO: The reigning Dally M Winger of the Year has been off the boil to start 2020. Tallied only 123 metres – well below what we’ve come to expect – and just not having his usual impact. Outplayed to the extreme by Nick Cotric. 5

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Went into his shell in alarming fashion. The first two games of 2020 have been easily Chanel’s worst two in first grade, but at least he had a crack in Newcastle. Sat back more and more as the game wore on and was barely sighted on attack during the second half. Big worry. 4

7 BLAKE GREEN: With CHT fading into anonymity, Green was exposed as ever. A true competitor but too slow, telegraphs his attacking plays and his kicking game doesn’t cut it as a dominant half – though playing behind a dominated pack is not helping. Racked up 20 tackles. 5

8 LEESON AH MAU: Coughed up the ball on the second play of the match, but was stronger with the ball than last week (nine runs for 94 metres) and maintained his elite-level tackle efficiency. 6

9 WAYDE EGAN: Topped the tackle count again (though he also missed seven) and laid on the Warriors’ first try of the season with a slick kick. But still doens’t offer enough as a running dummy-half or a creator in a team crying out for both qualities. 5

10 LACHLAN BURR: Made a rousing start to the game with four big runs and 14 tackles without a miss, but an HIA ended his day after 24 minutes. 5

11 ELIESA KATOA: Justified his call-up to the starting pack by racking up 149 metres (including 48 post-contact) and 27 tackles. A handful every time he carries the ball, the hulking 20-year-old is an absolute keeper. Swollen cheek is a concern but was gutsy to come back onto the field. 8

12 TOHU HARRIS: The Warriors are trying to use their marquee forward like Wade Graham – but he just doesn’t have the same skill-set. Topped 150 metres and created a few half-chances, but just doesn’t have the cattle around him. 7

13 ADAM BLAIR: A dream game for the Blair knockers, with the veteran making three glaring mistakes while the Warriors were pressing towards the Raiders’ try-line. Didn’t shirk his work, but – as TWL has outlined ad naseum over the past two seasons – the Warriors are getting nowhere near what most other clubs are from their No.13s. 4.5

 

14 KODI NIKORIMA: Needed to run from dummy-half when he replaced Egan but didn’t bring the much-needed spark to the role. Stayed on the field when Egan returned and picked up a penalty try for his efforts. 5

15 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Again looked strong with the ball in hand with 125 metres from 13 runs – easily the best of the Warriors’ underwhelming front-row rotation – but missed six tackles. 6.5

16 ISAIAH PAPALI’I: Baffling that he continues to be so highly-rated – though this week’s benching was perhaps a sign patience is wearing thin with the former prodigy. Busy off the bench with eight runs and 22 tackles (no misses) but struggles for impact. 5

17 KING VUNIYAYAWA: Bad dropped ball with his first touch and the Warriors hot on attack late in the first half. Tries hard but doesn’t scream NRL standard.4.5 

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