As he is set to do with the Warriors’ official gong, Tohu Harris has broken Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s stranglehold on the This Warriors Life Player of the Year award.
Nicking the old Rugby League Week POTY model, we gave every Warriors player a rating out of 10 after each match in 2020 and collated their tallies, then deducted the two lowest scores (including matches missed).
Harris finished 6.5 points clear of RTS – the runaway 2018-19 winner – in third annual TWL POTY standings. Kodi Nikorima edged Adam Blair for third spot, while Peta Hiku and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown tied for fifth.
THIS WARRIORS LIFE 2020 PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – FINAL LEADERBOARD
140 – Tohu Harris
133.5 – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
121 – Kodi Nikorima
120 – Adam Blair
118.5 – Peta Hiku
118.5 – Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
108 – Karl Lawton
99 – Wayde Egan
91.5 – Eliesa Katoa
87.5 – Isaiah Papali’i
Harris was one of just two Warriors (with Blair) to feature in all 20 games in 2020, meaning he had his only ‘5’ and ‘6’ ratings wiped from his final score. Tuivasa-Sheck had two no-scores for the two games he missed, which were both deducted. Harris rated an ‘8’ or better on 10 occasions, compared to RTS’s eight ‘8’ or better efforts.
The gap between Harris and Tuivasa-Sheck to the rest of the bunch reflects the marquee pair’s durability and consistency, though Nikorima and Blair had more than respectable campaigns.
Just eight players turning out in more than 14 of the Warriors’ 20 games, landing the modest-performing likes of Wayde Egan and Isaiah Papali’i in the top-10 while standout contributors such as Jazz Tevaga and Chanel Harris-Tavita missed out. In these instances, the players’ average scores paint a more accurate picture of the season they had.
THIS WARRIORS LIFE 2020 PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – HIGHEST AVERAGE SCORES
(minimum 8 games)
7.55 – Tohu Harris
7.42 – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
7.17 – Jazz Tevaga
7.04 – Eliesa Katoa
6.72 – Kodi Nikorima
6.58 – Peta Hiku
6.54 – Chanel Harris-Tavita
6.50 – Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
6.43 – Adam Blair
6.35 – Jack Murchie
Harris fully justified his Player of the Year status by recording the highest average score (7.55) – a mark of his outstanding quality and consistency – though he was just 0.13 points better than RTS on average.
After missing the first eight rounds, Tevaga was one of the Warriors’ best afield on a regular basis – underlined by third-ranked average rating of 7.17. Rookie sensation Eliesa Katoa’s season was punctuated by injury and suspension, but an average score of 7.04 in 13 games backs up the rave reviews of the second-rower.
A few more interesting nuggets to come out of the TWL player ratings and final Player of the Year tallies:
- Harris’ average score of 7.55 was just shy of Tuivasa-Sheck’s 2018 (7.61) and 2019 (7.78). Harris averaged 7.35 and 6.92 in 2018 and ’19 respectively.
- Just three ‘9’ ratings were dished out during 2020: Harris against the Dragons (Round 3), Nikorima against the Bulldogs (Round 15) and Tuivasa-Sheck against the Knights (Round 16) and Nikorima.
- The Warriors’ loan players all provided outstanding value if their TWL player ratings averages are any gauge: Poasa Faamausili averaged 6.88 across four games, with six-gamers Jack Hetherington (6.67), George Jennings (6.67) and Daniel Alvaro (6.58) not far behind.
- Players to average less than 6 include polarising hooker recruit Wayde Egan (5.82) and unwanted trio Isaiah Papali’i (5.83), Agnatius Paasi (5.83) and Gerard Beale (5.86).
- Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a played just eight and seven games respectively before jetting home early. But the high-profile wingers’ performances prior to departing make for grim reading: Maumalo, a clear second in the 2019 TWL POTY standings last year, averaged just 5.75 while Fusitu’a fared only marginally better with 5.79.
- After Blake Green’s departure, Chanel Harris-Tavita scored an average rating of 7.5 across seven games. CHT had averaged just 5.41 in six games prior to getting the permanent halves role.
- Patchy across the first 11 rounds with an average rating of just 5.5, Peta Hiku resurrected his season in spectacular style – he averaged 7.67 during the remaining nine rounds.
- The lowest rating handed out this season of ‘4’: Egan (Knights, Rd 1), Harris-Tavita (Raiders, Rd 2), Lachlan Burr (Rabbitohs, Rd 6), Karl Lawton (Storm, Rd 7), Blair (Sharks, Rd 11), Patrick Herbert (Sharks, Rd 11) and Papali’i (Sharks, Rd 11).