TWL RD 11: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Walshy leading the pack in the Warriors’ vital 30-26 victory over Wests Tigres.

17 REECE WALSH: Put a lamentable in-goal clean-up attempt behind him to paint a masterpiece in his fifth NRL game. Three brilliant try-assists from insane cut-out balls underlined not only his vision, but his rare ability to execute and make the very difficult look effortless. Add to that a dazzling try, 133 running metres and a brave try-saver in the dying minutes, and it’s clear nothing me and Brad have said on the TWL podcast is overselling just what a special talent we have on our hands. Whether at fullback or in the halves, Walsh has to start from here on out. 9

2 MARCELO MONTOYA: A mixed bag that we’ll just have to get used to as long as Montoya is in the line-up. Two fine tries, three line-breaks and 146 metres were countered by an in-goal botch-up that gifted the Tigers and a bombed try when he kicked instead of handing it off to an unmarked Walsh. Very willing, but not a guy that you want to carry into a finals series. 5.5

3 ADAM POMPEY: Looking forward to Pompey’s inevitable shift to the wing – though his troubles with defusing kicks is a concern. Fairly nondescript night – 10 runs for 89 minutes and few memorable moments in the positive category. 5

4 EUAN AITKEN: Solid again with 11 runs for 93 metres and 24 tackles, but yet to see a genuinely exciting moment from arguably our second-biggest buy of the off-season. 6

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Despite being herded out to the wing to accommodate the whiz kid, RTS still managed to do much of what he always does best. Ran for a game-high 272 metres on 20 carries and made two line-breaks, including a scintillating bust while standing at centre to set up Murchie’s try. Still a work in progress – but this reshuffle could still work. 8

6 KODI NIKORIMA: After a couple of a tough weeks, Nikorima responded very well. Executed much better – including two superb try-assists, the second a wonderful grubber for a 68th-minute go-ahead four-pointer – and took more responsibility for steering the team around. Running game didn’t feature too prominently but combination with Walsh was a feature. Nine missed tackles is a bit of an ugly stat, but overall performance was a step forward in a tense, tight game. 7.5

7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Struggled a bit to find his rhythm in a ball-playing capacity after being his team’s best in the first half last week. But ultra-committed as always – including 27 tackles, several important – and a sound presence in the No.7. 6

8 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Just 27 minutes on the park and rather anonymous at that, carting the ball up just twice. Made 25 tackles and missed three. Disappointing after a strong showing against the Eels. 5

9 WAYDE EGAN: A rare one for Wayde’s scrapbook. His four runs for 41 metres were well-timed, reeled off a massive 55 tackles and showed great urgency and timing to score a pivotal second-half try. Decent service throughout. 7.5

16 BUNTY AFOA: Seriously, what was up with the prop rotation? Bunty was moved into the starting team but didn’t return after his initial 21-minute stint, in which he had five runs for 45 metres and 15 tackles without a miss. 6

18 ELIESA KATOA: After a lengthy stint with the feeder team, Katoa’s return was largely strong: 124 metres from 11 carries and 31 tackles. But a crucial intercept pass that led to BMM’s sin-binning and brainless lifting tackle that earned himself 10 minutes in the shed blotted his performance. 6

12 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Not the best of Murdoch-Masila’s outstanding NRL return campaign. An error and a sin-binning overshadowed his good work with the ball in 37 minutes on the park. 5.5

13 TOHU HARRIS: The Warriors’ best forward by a decent margin. In the thick of the action from start to finish, racking up 18 runs for 160 metres and 45 tackles, as well as coming up with some crucial clean-up work.The type of performance that saw him carry off the Warriors’ official and TWL Player of the Year gongs. 8

 

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Very good aside from a high-tackle penalty, carting the ball up 12 times for 121 metres and making 26 tackles, and popping a couple of offloads. 7

15 LEESON AH MAU: Just 30 minutes on the park, but made them count with 11 carries for 112 metres and making 15 tackles with – you guessed it – no misses. 7

11 JACK MURCHIE: Backed up to score a great try in the first half and finished with 77 metres and 32 tackles. But some second-half howlers can’t be ignored, throwing a turnover offload, coughing up the pill at the play-the-ball and giving away a high-tackle penalty that allowed the Tigers to edge in front. 6

10 KANE EVANS: Most Warriors fans are keen to see less of Evans – but Brown’s use of the towering prop was odd. Just 18 minutes in the second-half for the journeyman, who made two runs and 12 tackles in that time. Not looking good for retention in a post-AFB-return line-up. 5

 

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