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High praise for CHT and Walshy, brickbats for Kodi and Pompey. And commendations for some solid middle forwards.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): A game-high 229 metres from 21 runs and a line-break, but there will be no addition to his Dally M votes tally this week. A largely unhappy day for the skipper, coughing up two bombs among four errors and struggling to inject himself into the Warriors’ attack after being shunted to the wing. 6

4 ROCCO BERRY: Given an impossible task as Sivo steamrolled him for a try following a late positional switch. Had two runs and went off with a head knock after 35 minutes, ruling him out for the game. 5

22 EUAN AITKEN: Strong stats in his first game since Round 1 with 11 runs for 109 metres and 22 tackles, but failed to make a genuine impact. Grassed a tough Nikorima pass early on. 6

3 ADAM POMPEY: It took a long time for Pompey to win the TWL team over after his patchy 2019 rookie efforts, but he gradually became something of a favourite via his improvement last year and strong efforts so far in 2021. Most of that was undone this afternoon. Absolutely diabolical with the ball in hand, making three errors including some atrocious passes, and coming up with an unnecessary obstruction play that potentially cost Big Ken a try as well as kicking ahead aimlessly with an overlap at his disposal. Z-grade bomb disposal cost a second-half try and missed the key tackle as Eels scored the sealer. Very athletic and powerful and started making headway during the second-half revival, but low footy IQ and lack of ingrained rugby league skill – needs to go to the wing. 3

5 KEN MAUMALO: Again a statistical beast with 21 runs for 202 metres and made a second-half line-break, as well as some handy defusing plays at the back. But just lacking that fire that marked his 2018-19 performances. A bit slow and lumbering in general. At present the Warriors simply do not possess a top-shelf finisher. 5.5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: Didn’t have an error officially recorded against his name but was responsible for several in the first half. The lack of execution Nikorima displayed was astonishing, putting his outside men under ridiculous pressure time and again. The idea that he can be anything near an elite NRL half when it counts is a myth, and the Warriors’ coaching staff and administration is living in a fantasy world if they think he can effectively serve this team on a consistent basis in anything but the No.14 jersey. Found some holes as the Eels’ defence unravelled in the second half, but still lacked the decisiveness to turn them into points. 3

7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Outstanding. Head and shoulders above his teammates in the first half with a string of important and gutsy defensive efforts, as well as the Warriors’ only enterprising or constructive attack of the opening half hour. Great kick for his side’s first try and a constant threat. Much more measured than last week, sealing his spot in the No.7. 8

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Needed to step up against the bombastic Eels middles and largely did so, racking up eight runs for 84 metres and 41 tackles in 48 minutes of game-time. Some excellent defence early before the Warriors started leaking tries. Really encouraging. 7

9 WAYDE EGAN: A mixed bag would be putting in generously in Egan’s favour. Largely clunky from dummy-half despite a few bright moments, running mostly when he should’ve passed and vice versa. Not robust or dynamic enough and chalked up five missed tackles. Can’t fault him effort-wise but not a hooker that ever seems likely to play in a top-four team. 5

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Massive after a couple of disappointing defensive moments in the opening 20. Had an OK 11-minute stint at hooker as Egan fulfilled HIA requirements but much better after returning to a middle forward role. Finished with 41 tackles and produced some superb ball-playing moments – including a try-assist for BMM – as one of the leaders of the second-half comeback. 7.5

12 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Very unhappy first 50 minutes, including two ordinary penalties early on for taking out Mitchell Moses, a departure for a chin cut and shoddy play-the-ball error that put the Warriors under the pump early in the second half. Responded strongly with a barnstorming try and several strong runs, as well as finishing with 29 tackles. 6

18 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Came from outside the 17 to grab a starting second-row spot but again failed to impress. Worked tirelessly for 43 tackles but struggling to show his well-known wares on attack. Hard to see how he offers more than Jack Murchie. 5

13 TOHU HARRIS: The good: 14 runs for 115 metres – getting better with the ball as the game wore on – and a team-high 47 tackles despite spending half the game at centre. The bad: three very poor errors. 6


11 JOSH CURRAN: On hand to score the Warriors’ first try and racked up an impressive 36 tackles in 34 minutes, but his game ended early in the second half with a nasty elbow injury. 6

15 LEESON AH MAU: Super-solid as per, hitting the ball up nine times for 81 metres and reeling off 31 tackles without a miss. Will be such a good foil for AFB when he returns. 7

16 BUNTY AFOA: Gave Bunty Appreciation Society president Anton Posa plenty to be proud of with 10 strong charges for 85 metres and 22 tackles with no misses in half an hour on the paddock. 7

17 REECE WALSH: The raw numbers are mind-blowing enough: a try, three line-breaks, a line-break assist, 15 runs for 162 metres and a team-high six tackle-breaks in 46 minutes after being thrown in at fullback when his team was 24-6 down. But the sparkle, confidence and raw ability his kid has is hard to describe in full. A prodigy, a budding superstar…an absolute must for the starting side. Preferably in Kodi’s place at five-eighth. In four games (including two half-games) he has two tries, four try-assists, five line-breaks, three line-break assists, 15 tackle-breaks and an average of 94 running metres. Insane. Our future. 8.5

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