TWL RD 17: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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This hurts me more than it hurts them.

1 REECE WALSH: Probably the least highlights-laden display of his eight-game career, yet still managed a try,  a line-break,165 metres and four tackle-breaks. Came up with a two or three subpar plays to turn over possession, but it’s quite obvious this kid is the only beacon of hope in a completely muddled Warriors backline. 7

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Great off-the-cuff kick to set up the first try, came up with some bruising and crucial jam-in defensive efforts, and chalked up more running metres than any other player on the field (172). No complaints so far. 6.5

3 ROCCO BERRY: A poor defensive read in Tracey’s try was about the only black mark against the rookie’s name. Reeled off 26 tackles without a miss and looked powerful and dangerous with every touch on attack – a running-metres tally of 63 didn’t tell the story of how much trouble he gave the Sharks. Clearly a class act that will get better when he plays alongside the likes of Johnson and Walsh on a regular basis next year. 6.5

4 MARCELO MONTOYA: Solid enough again – 11 runs for 85 metres, 12 tackles without a miss, contained Jesse Ramien OK, didn’t make an error and a freakish kick almost produced a try. 6

5 ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK: One of the skipper’s most forgettable performances for the Warriors until he exploded onto Walsh’s pass to score the only try of the second half. Also had a line-break assist in the second stanza and made a game-high six tackle breaks along with 161 metres but largely failed to find his groove and had a bad regulation drop that could easily have cost the Warriors more than two points. 5.5

6 KODI NIKORIMA: A ghost except when putting in dud kicks, giving away penalties and stifling the Warriors’ attack. Another club picking up 133-game veteran would be a massive bonus for the Warriors, unless they are prepared to slot him into a No.14 role. Has already pulled out of the New Zealand World Cup squad but would not come close to making it anyway on 2021 form. 4

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN: Had some good moments – two excellent kicks would have forced line dropouts if not for the clumsy efforts of teammates, and a charge-down was also unlucky not to secure possession. Came up with a nice assist for RTS’s try. Some great stops among 28 with only two misses. But overall lacks vision, the composure to take the right option and speed in every department. 6

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Working his way back to his marquee best with 141 metres on 13 carries and 33 tackles without a miss. But two needless penalties when the Sharks were coming out of trouble in quick succession in the second half underlined an annoying facet of AFB’s game. 6.5

9 WAYDE EGAN: Nothing too offensive, nothing too impressive. Couple of OK touches in attack – clearly lacks the zip of at least two-thirds of the hookers in the comp though – and made a mammoth 59 tackles. Warming to Egan a little but giving him a spell with more of sparky hooker coming on for a stint has to be the way to go now we have some big-minute middles in the starting line-up. 6

10 MATT LODGE: Thought he brought some long-absent aggression and authority to the Warriors’ front-row. Strong work-rate (13 runs for 116 metres, 38 tackles) in 59 minutes, quick play-the-ball (2.89 seconds) and in my eyes had more intent than any other player in the team. Good, eager club debut. 7

11 ELIESA KATOA: The resurgent continues as Katoa puts a bout of second-year syndrome behind him. Racked up 38 tackles – including some stinging efforts – and ran for 118 metres on 13 carries, looking as capable of busting the Sharks apart as any Warrior. Really encouraging. 7

12 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Big appetite in defence (38 tackles) but reverted to his more customary lack of contribution in attack, running the ball just four times. Also came up with an early low-percentage play in the Sharks’ in-goal to deny his side a line dropout. 5

13 JAZZ TEVAGA: Saved his most memorable moment for the post-match interview, but was one of the Warriors’ better performers without doing anything amazing. Made 46 tackles and 73 metres as a worthy starting fill-in for Tohu Harris. 6.5

 

15 LEESON AH MAU: Four hit-ups and 19 tackles in 27 minutes, but a distinct lack of impact compared to the starting props. Without a contract for 2022, Leeson appears to be on borrowed time at the Warriors. 5

16 BUNTY AFOA: Again given limited time, but in 24 minutes big Bunty managed six runs for 66 metres and 14 tackles wiithout a miss. Not setting the world on fire but would be hard-pressed to do much more than he is when he’s left collecting splinters for the first 50 minutes most weeks. 6

17 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: The early-season sheen is wearing off BMM. Defended well but lacking the trademark impact with the ball and came up with an ordinary dropped ball. 5

20 JACK MURCHIE: I’m all for ditching Kane Evans in a late change, but not for this. Murchie’s 22-minute shambles of a performance featured two horrific dropped balls when the Warriors were hot on attack. Did little positive of note. There’s been a few lemons from the ex-Raider this season and with Curran returning next week he can look forward to shaking hands with Redcliffe coach Adam Mogg, who may be tempted to make him 18th man. 3.5

 

 

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