TWL RD 5: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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The ‘3’ and ‘4’ keys got a rare workout while appraising an abominable performance in losing to the battling Sea Eagles.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK: The skipper’s colossal workload – 30 runs for 259 metres – is part of the Warriors’ problem. But you have to admire RTS’s insatiable desire to lift his team. Also popped a lovely ball to put Jack Murchie through a hole in the lead-up to the Warriors’ first try and had a team-high six tackle-breaks. 7

2 DAVID FUSITU’A: ‘Fus’ has been copping it from the fanbase…TWL has been a bit more circumspect. Industrious on both sides of the ball at the Warriors’ end, racking up 153 metres on 18 carries and seven tackles – including a massive shot on Dylan Walker that flirted with shoulder-charge territory – without a miss. Being starved on the ball on attack, but the NRL’s better wingers find ways to get involved. A terrible play-the-ball error gave the critics some easy ammunition. 4.5

3 ADAM POMPEY: A handful every time he carries the ball and finished with 138 metres and five tackle-breaks from 12 runs on Friday. Limited as a passing centre, however, and should end up on a wing after Hiku and Aitken return. 6

4 MARCELO MONTOYA: A frantic, erratic customer, Montoya has nevertheless impressed with his intent and commitment in two games for the club. Ran for 96 metres, pulled off some big hits, made two handling errors and had the ball stripped in 59 minutes on the park before exiting for an HIA. 5.5

5 KEN MAUMALO: Twenty-one carries for 194 metres and a try was more of a Ken-like performance in his 100th, rediscovering some aggression, but he’s still miles off his 2018-19 form. Made three handling errors and struggling with opposite Jason Saab’s searing pace. 4.5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: Should have had a field day against a defence that leaked 39 points per game across the first four rounds, yet endured his most inept performance in a Warriors jumper. The team’s right-edge attack is a shambles and that’s on Kodi. But his game descended into absolute shocker territory with a staggering fumble on the try-line to gift Manly a 59th-minute leveller, before putting Murchie under ridiculous pressure with a low-percentage pass in the dying minutes when setting for the field goal was the only sensible option. So much talent, but the 2021 evidence suggests Nikorima is a flat-track bully and one of the NRL’s least clutch halves. 3

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN: Finding it hard to understand some of the criticism directed at SOS – he’s clearly limited but is getting a good return on his ability. Despite boasting a Blake Green-esque lack of pace, scored an excellent solo try among 120 running metres and was constantly on the ball with 79 receipts and 58 passes – far more than any half on the field. Contributed heavily to the clunkiness of the left-side attack, but O’Sullivan is feeling his way in a new team with only 12 NRL games under his belt. 6

8 LEESON AH MAU: Rock-solid in his first start of 2021, chalking up eight runs for 78 metres and 28 tackles without a miss. He’s never going to be Addin Fonua-Blake but Ah Mau has been in the Warriors’ top bracket of 2021 performers. 6

9 WAYDE EGAN: Trying very hard to recognise and appreciate Egan’s subtle attributes, but realistically if he is an above-average NRL hooker it shouldn’t be this hard to see it. Strangled the Warriors’ attack with dismal option-taking, shocking execution and shabby service from dummy-half. Introduced a no-look kick to his armoury that actually made his no-look passes seem half-decent. Tried his guts out and made 46 tackles, but clearly not an 80-minute No.9 – or a top-quality one. 3.5

10 TOHU HARRIS: Pushed up to prop and played 80 minutes, carting the ball up 16 times and reeling off 48 tackles. A big effort in the absence of all three starting front-rowers the Warriors used in the opening four rounds. 6

11 ELIESA KATOA: Is it too early to start talking about second-year syndrome? Katoa’s offensive drop-off after developing into one of the game’s most damaging young back-rowers can be partly attributed to a breakdown in his combination with Nikorima, but the tyro has to take some responsibility for getting involved. Six runs with a tortoise-like play-the-ball speed of 4.54 seconds. Just a body out there at present. 4

12 JACK MURCHIE: First the positives: a barnstorming line-break to send Maumalo in for a try, 106 running metres and 40 tackles. But it all turned sour for Murchie in the latter stages, spilling a pressure pass from Nikorima inside the Manly 20 and then inexplicably coughing up possession on halfway with just over a minute left to give Cherry-Evans the opportunity to snatch the win. 4.5

13 JAZZ TEVAGA: Led the Warriors’ forwards by a big margin with 145 metres from 16 runs and made a team-high 51 tackles (albeit with seven misses), including multiple rush-out-of-the-line bell-ringers, and a team-high three offloads. One of the few to enhance their reputation on Friday. 7

 

14 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Injected a bit of energy off the bench, making 76 metres from nine runs, and should come into the frame for Katoa’s starting spot. 5

15 TOM ALE: A positive on a bleak night for the club, carving off 89 metres on 10 carries in just 23 minutes on the park in his second NRL outing. A hulking type who should see plenty more first grade in 2021 with AFB sidelined. 6

16 KANE EVANS: Sound stats of nine runs for 104 metres – but the lasting impression he left on club debut was two bad handling errors. An imposing figure, there’s a reason the 29-year-old didn’t kick on at the Roosters and Eels, and it would surprise if Evans provides the Warriors with a satisfactory return on investment. 4.5

20 PAUL TURNER: Came on for Montoya with 20 minutes to go and made 10 tackles but didn’t get a chance to showcase his attacking wares, running the ball just twice. 4

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