TWL RD 3 WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Hands are still shaking and brain is still scrambled from one of the all-time great Warriors regular season wins, but we’ll attempt to dish out some out-of-10 appraisals:

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Any notion that we wouldn’t get the best out of our skipper ahead of his shift to union was dispelled in Canberra. Quite possibly his finest-ever display, running for 252 metres (101 post-contact), scoring a brilliant, crucial try among two line-breaks, making 10 tackle-breaks, popping six offloads and then producing an all-time hero defensive play to save the game on the bell. Constantly on the shoulder of the Warriors’ playmakers to punch into the Raiders’ defensive line. Unforgettable. 9.5

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: Fus is getting a bake but I’m going to stand up for him for the second week in a row. By far the most intent of the Warriors’ three-quarter line today with 21 runs for 199 metres (91 post-contact). Had a couple of bad moments towards the end – getting bundled back into the in-goal and getting caught in no man’s land as Rapana almost stole the game – but is trying harder than some of his teammates. 7

3 ADAM POMPEY: Scored the match-winning try in outstanding fashion and finished with 13 runs for 145 metres. Still looks like he’s not sure what he’s up to way too much of the time – and pegging a kick-off out on the full in the first half was near-unforgivable – but is doing the job right now. Big chance of bumping one of the big-name wingers when Aitken returns. 7

4 PETA HIKU: Uncharacteristically quiet – besides an ill-timed dangerous tackle – before leaving the field with half an hour to go. 4.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Stats of 16 runs for 167 metres might look OK but Big Ken is way off the pace. No menace, no mongrel and on borrowed time if he can’t rediscover a bit of bite. 5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: The comeback doesn’t happen without Kodi. Far from perfect overall, but brilliantly started and finished (and had a touch in the middle) the first try of the second half before laying on two more (albeit one from a blatantly forward pass). Ran for 124 metres in a display that was exactly what the Warriors needed. 8

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN: Patrick Herbert retains my vote as the greatest NRL debut by a Warrior, but I can’t recall any club debuts better than ex-Rooster and Bronco O’Sullivan. Out and out class from start to finish, including a superb kicking game and 111 metres from 14 runs, the second-last pass for four of the Warriors’ six tries and an outstanding ability to keep the ball alive. It has to be said: better than anything we’ve seen from Chanel across 80 minutes in first grade. 9

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Barnstorming opening 30-minute stint that included the first try after five minutes. Less eye-catching in his second foray but nonetheless finished with 15 runs for 175 metres (85 post-contact) and absolutely proving value for money so far. 8

9 WAYDE EGAN: Big game from the polarising rake. Played the full 80, made a team-high 46 tackles and controlled the ruck beautifully. Put Bayley Sironen over for a vital second-half try and had an early hand in several others. 7.5

10 BUNTY AFOA: Night quite the impact we were expecting – four runs for 53 metres and 17 tackles in 30 minutes – but his chase-down try-saver on CNK will live long in the memory. 6

11 ELIESA KATOA: Not a day for Katoa to showcase his attacking wares – running the ball a mere four times – but put AFB over with a slick short ball and made 18 tackles without a miss. 6

13 TOHU HARRIS: A typical workhorse display with 17 runs for 129 metres and 45 tackles, and recovered from being passed the ball in ridiculously close quarters on multiple occasions to produced a genius offload for RTS’s try. 8

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Pitched into the starting side late and was busy and high-quality in two 20-ish-minute stints. Finished with 11 runs for 128 metres and 30 tackles with no misses during 46 minutes on the park. 7.5

 

12 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Bumped from the starting pack but made his presence felt. Brave line to score a vital second-half try, racked up 28 tackles and 64 metres in a showing that confirmed his value to the balance of this Warriors 17. 7

15 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Wonderful impact once again. Punched through the line and offloaded breathtakingly in the lead-up to Sironen’s try, before backing up to score a controversial four-pointer of his own. Seven runs for 82 metres in 41 minutes of game-time. 7.5

16 LEESON AH MAU: Enjoying a superb campaign off the bench so far and is yet to miss a tackle in 2021 (made 23 today). Ran strongly (six runs for 54 metres) and offers a real presence in teh middle during that middle part of the game. 7

17 JACK MURCHIE: Chucked into Hiku’s centre role and did a fine job. Six runs for 60 metres and 15 tackles without a miss is very solid for a customer of his shape and skill-set playing out of position. 7

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