TWL RD 5: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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No shortage of standouts as the Warriors prevailed in a 63-point thriller against the Cowboys.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Sensational clean-up work at the back, defusing kicks and holding Cowboys up over the line. Still needs to find a way to better inject himself on attack, but ran for a game-high 216 metres (73 post-contact) and had five tackle-breaks. 7.5

2 PATRICK HERBERT: Blistering start that included a well-taken try and some excellent kick-defusals. Rarely sighted in the second half but an admirable bounce-back after last week’s tribulations. 6.5

4 GERARD BEALE: Bad read contributed to the Cowboys’ first tries in each half, but made some good stops too. Worked hard with the ball, chalking up 13 runs for 117 metres. 6

20 PETA HIKU: The signs weren’t good in Hiku’s return when his diabolical judgement in-goal gifted a try to Kyle Feldt. But bounced back with a hat-trick of tries and ultimately racked up an enormous 169 metres (74 post-contact) from 16 runs. Welcome back. 7

5 ADAM POMPEY: Bad error led to the Cowboys’ opener but finished with two line-breaks – including an easy finish for a try – and ran for almost 100 metres. Plugging a gap but not much more. 5.5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: Signalled his intentions from the outset with some searching runs and deft kicks. Brilliant break to set up Eliesa Katoa’s try, great field goal, slick tip-on for another try and forced line dropouts. Utter class – but that has to be his base level. 8.5

7 BLAKE GREEN: Impressive bounce-back after getting deservedly panned for last week’s howler. Pinpoint kick for the first try, while two more well-placed high balls garnered crucial second-half tries. A number of other astute kicks on attack, while his long kicking game was much better on the back of a stronger go-forward. Passing and creativity so-so. 7

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Something of a quiet achiever but really coming along as a front-row starter. Carved off 178 metres (70-plus post-contact) from 15 carries and made 24 tackles with no misses. Very, very strong. 8

 9 WAYDE EGAN: A wonderful kick for Hiku’s second try elevated another overwhelmingly pedestrian outing from Egan. Still reluctant to run – 24 metres from three darts – and lacking creativity, the assist aside. 5.5

10 LACHLAN BURR: Made over 100 metres but bumped off a few times in defence and still lacks the presence and size at prop. Hard to justify having Burr in the side ahead of Agnatius Paasi. 5

11 ELIESA KATOA: Wow, this kid just keeps delivering. His combination with Nikorima is something special – resulting in his second try in three games – and he tallied 16 runs for 153 metres, five tackle-breaks and 29 tackles with no misses. Ugly error in the first set after the break, but the 20-year-old shook it off and his game sense and uncanny ability to constantly put himself in the play is striking – and remarkable given he had played only a dozen games of 13-a-side before 2020. Cannot get enough of this guy. 8

12 TOHU HARRIS: A third straight monster effort from Tohu, the raw numbers of 17 runs for 193 metres (including a game-high 75 post-contact) and a team-high 42 tackles without a miss. So much quality in an enormous workload. 8

13 ADAM BLAIR: Absolutely inspirational. Chided for his offensive work-rate in 2018-19, Blair tonight had 16 runs for 157 metres, and while his 27 tackles is a run of the mill total, he made a thunderous impact on that side of the ball. Where has this Adam Blair been? Who cares…as long as he sticks around. 8

 

14 KARL LAWTON: Played the last 22 minutes at dumm-half and picked up the match-sealing try, but didn’t get too many other opportunities to show off his spark. 5

17 JACK MURCHIE: Looked pretty good, though his work-rate (seven runs for 60 metres, 17 tackles) was relatively modest given he was afforded 60 minutes off the pine. Ordinary read in Francis Molo’s tries but otherwise sound. 6

15 POASA FAAMAUSILI: Oh man, we gotta hang onto this guy. Eight runs for 89 metres and 17 tackles with no misses in 35 minutes on the paddock, but that doesn’t come close to telling the story. Fantastic impact with every involvement – just a big, physical enforcer who could turn into something special…hopefully in a Warriors jersey. 8

16 KING VUNIYAYAWA: Another solid showing off the bench with eight runs for 75 metres and 16 tackles with no misses. Just good enough to hold off players such as Josh Curran frothing for a run – but his spot is still vulnerable. 6

 

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