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RTS and Walshy were the standouts in a mixed bag of an afternoon in Gosford as the Warriors held on to beat the Cowboys 24-20.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Magnificent in the first half with a hand in Nikorima’s opener and a sizzling line-break to set up Berry’s four-pointer. Finished with a game-high 225 metres and eight tackle-breaks, surging to the top of the Dally M leaderboard in the process. 8.5

23 EDWARD KOSI: Looked solid on debut in the first half aside from a handling error, but had big trouble with opposing winger Murray Taulagi as the Cowboys terrorised the Warriors’ right edge in the second stanza. Racked up 123 on 16 carries. 5

3 ADAM POMPEY: A barnstorming try on halftime was the highlight of a strong return from injury, but he worked hard for 118 metres and 21 tackles. 7

4 ROCCO BERRY: Backed up to score his first NRL try in his second game and looked good with the ball all day, running for 108 metres and recording a line-break assist with slick quick hands. Putting his hand up for a spot in a full-strength backline. 7

5 KEN MAUMALO: Outstanding under the high ball at the Warriors end in the first half and took the tough carries in characteristic fashion, chewing off 173 metres from 21 runs. No horror moments on defence this week. 7

6 REECE WALSH: A couple of shaky moments and errors, but another tantalisingly window into what this kid is capable of. Laid on Ben Murdoch-Masila’s try, had a key hand in Pompey’s, almost had a memorable highlight-reel assist in the second half – producing two dazzling touches in a 50-metre movement – only for it to be called back for a knock-on in the lead-up, and made a further line-break. But again his desire to be constantly involved and take on the bulk of the kicking duties was an eye-catching feature. Could do with some longer sprigs. 8

7 KODI NIKORIMA: Another performance that lends weight to the flat-track bully theory. Absolutely tore the Cowboys to shreds in the first half with a solo try, a line-break assist in the lead up to another and a searing line-break to lay on a further four-pointer. But when the acid was on in the second half, Nikorima was anonymous. Kicked the ball just once in the entire match when his experience should have come to the fore, instead letting an ill-equipped Walsh run the show. 6

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Busy in defence with 30 tackles (no misses) but made just 46 metres with the ball – not exactly ideal from your starting prop. 6

9 WAYDE EGAN: Again mixed some classy moments with some ordinary dummy-half service. Made a mammoth 49 tackles without a miss. 6

10 KANE EVANS: Decent numbers again – 101 metres and 25 tackles – but just doesn’t have the authority the Warriors need up front. Gave away set restarts on consecutive plays during the first half. Surely will struggle to hold down a spot when AFB returns. 5.5

11 JOSH CURRAN: Another full-throttle display from the second-rower, who made nine runs and 43 tackles. Credited with four handling errors, though a couple were unlucky. Outstanding offload for Pompey’s try. 7

12 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Arguably the Warriors’ best forward, powering through 117 metres (58 post-contact) and 22 tackles before his day ended early via a punishing collision with Jason Taumalolo. 7.5

13 TOHU HARRIS: Strong 80-minute return from a one-week HIA layoff, leading the Warriors’ forwards with 17 runs for 158 metres (71 post-contact) and 42 tackles (no misses). Also had two line-break assists but one play-the-ball error. 7.5


14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Inglorious entry to the game, forcing an unnecessary pass to give up possession before being fooled at marker for the Cowboys’ first try seconds later. Worked hard for 25 tackles in 27 minutes and carted the ball up six times, but not his best work. 5.5

15 LEESON AH MAU: Played 30 minutes and reeled up 25 tackles with no misses (of course), as well as six hit-ups. Should be starting. 6

16 BUNTY AFOA: Churned through 30 tackles in 35 minutes on the paddock, but only had four runs – though he threatened to split the Cowboys open on each occasion. 6.5

17 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Hardworking on D with 30 tackles (no misses), but a terrible play-the-ball fumble in the dying minutes on one of only three carries could have proved much more costly than it did. 5

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