TWL RD 14: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Very little to get excited about from an individual standpoint – particularly given one of our three best players was making his last appearance for the club.

1 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK (c): Returned to his favoured fullback role and racked up a team-high 21 runs, 169 metres and seven tackle-breaks, but his limitations as a ball-playing No.1 after a few weeks of Walshy came into sharp focus. RTS struggled for timing and creativity on attack – though the low-quality work of the other members of the spine didn’t help. 6

5 EDWARD KOSI: If we applied the Terman’s Stanford–Binet original (1916) classification of IQ testing to the more modern idea of ‘footy IQ’, Eddie would score below 70. Credited with three errors, Kosi went into touch twice, had the ball stripped from him by Josh Addo-Carr with barely a whimper, and was totally lost on defence. Built like Ken Maumalo but plays with the background noise presence of Kenny G. 4

2 MARCELO MONTOYA: No glaringly bad moments besides a couple of questionable defensive decisions, but certainly better on the wing than at centre. Ten runs for 86 metres and busy with 18 tackles, but missed four. 5.5

3 EUAN AITKEN: Finished with strong numbers of 15 runs for 146 metres and a couple of try-assists that consisted of handing the ball off to Maumalo. But the ex-Dragons seems a frustratingly one-dimensional centre and made a poor handling error in the first half. Plenty of fans have a boner for Aitken and are willing to be more patient than they would be with others, but he’s currently closer to Dane Nielsen than Brent Tate on the scale of Australian centres the Warriors have recruited. 5

21 KEN MAUMALO: Big Ken, you’re breaking my heart bro! What a bittersweet way to go out, a superb late hat-trick that took his season tally to eight tries in 11 games – and 30 from his last 42 appearances for the club. Chewed off 161 metres and five-tackle breaks from 19 carries, but before he started making a beeline for the left-hand corner post Maumalo was having a modest farewell appearance. Still, you’ve gotta wonder if letting him walk is the right call…particularly given Kosi and Fus’ struggles, and the absolute dog’s breakfast likely mid-season arrival DWZ is capable of serving up. 7

6 KODI NIKORIMA: The NRL’s resident flat-track bully half was absolutely no match for Melbourne’s line speed. Zero authority or poise, consistently shovelling garbage pill to his runners, making errors and coming up with some of the worst fifth-tackle options of 2021. Will keep his spot with CHT now out indefinitely but a Walsh-O’Sullivan pairing may genuinely be the Warriors’ best hope of making the finals. 4

7 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: A thunderous hit-of-the-year contender on Brandon Smith was a highlight in a bad afternoon for CHT. Atrocious kicking game, nil creativity and a lack of direction characterised his dreadful performance with the ball before a suspected torn pec ended his afternoon – and probably his season – just before halftime. Boasts some terrific footballing attributes but seems better suited to a lock or hooker role. 4

17 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Pushed into a starting prop role but probably didn’t have the desired impact and came off after 17 minutes. Finished with seven runs for 60 metres and 20 tackles after a more impressive second stint, having a hand in Maumalo’s second try. 6

9 WAYDE EGAN: Not convinced he’s even in the top 16 hookers in the NRL. Terrible dummy-half service – including passes to ground early on when the Warriors were hot on attack – and his lack of presence was magnified by playing opposite arguably the game’s best rake. Remarkably, led the Warriors’ forwards with 85 metres; ironically, his lacklustre dummy-half play probably contributed to the pack’s go-forward struggles. Gutsy on D with 46 tackles but missed six. At the risk of sounding heartless, there’s a part of me that hopes the head knock that forced Egan off with six minutes left rules him out next week and provides Taniela Otukolo with a debut. 4

10 LEESON AH MAU: Some would say a long overdue promotion to the starting team and was solid-ish with 10 runs for 69 metres and 20 tackles with – believe it or not – one miss. An speculative offload led to Big Ken’s second. 6

11 BAYLEY SIRONEN: A defensive workhorse with 35 stops despite moving into the halves following CHT’s injury. Need to see more of his attacking qualities coming to the fore if Son of Sirro is to stay in the Warriors’ first-choice 17. 5.5

12 TOHU HARRIS: Probably the Warriors’ best, carting the ball up 10 times for 84 metres and reeling off a mammoth 52 tackles with just one miss. So dependable. 7.5

13 JOSH CURRAN: A lightning rod for unwarranted penalties, but an otherwise sound return from injury with seven runs for 69 metres and 34 tackles, as well as a nice try involvement. 6

 

14 JACK MURCHIE: Has been in and out of the top side all year – and it’s likely to be the latter after a 53-minute effort that included 48 running metres, 26 tackles with four misses, a poor handling error and a penalty. Can’t justify his inclusion ahead of Tevaga or Katoa at present. 4.5

15 KANE EVANS: Four carries for 35 metres and 13 tackles without a miss in 24 second-half minutes. Decent, but it’s probably more of a worry seeing less of Evans impressed us more than when he was starting. 5.5

16 BUNTY AFOA: Similar to Evans: finally entered the fray in the second half and made 42 metres from four runs, plus 10 tackles without a miss. 5.5

23 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Not exactly the world-beating, marquee front-row form we are hoping for week-to-week, but a solid return from a 10-week layoff nonetheless. Took the ball up nine times for 81 metres, made 21 tackles and looked to ignite the Warriors’ attack with some attractive ball-playing before the line. 7

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