TWL RD 19: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Marks out of 10 after a Rabbitohs avalanche on the Sunny Coast.

1 REECE WALSH: The rookie sensation’s toughest day in the NRL to date. A bomb and a kick-off out on the full led to Souths’ first two tries, while he was pinpointed and isolated defensively near the Warriors’ line on several occasions as the Rabbitohs racked up the four-pointers. Just 47 metres on nine runs and few chances to unleash his playmaking arsenal, but did chase through to score his side’s only second-half try from a kick. 5.5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: The Warriors’ best on a difficult day – fittingly, after missing the birth of his child to relocate to Queensland with his new club. Raced 50 metres to score the first try after a superb pick-up of a loose ball, great break and in-field pass for Nikorima’s try on halftime, and had a team-high 156 metres and four tackle-breaks. Watched opposite number Josh Mansour grab a quick second-half double. Proving a handy buy so far. 7.5

3 ADAM POMPEY: Strong line-break to set up Montoya’s try, but was otherwise quiet on attack, had two errors and missed five tackles. Just not a week-to-week NRL-quality centre. 5.5

4 EUAN AITKEN: Better in the second half than the first and finished with 73 metres on nine carries, while he was relatively sound defensively. Bad fumble in the first half. Little pizzazz. 5

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Back-peddalling, juggling try was as impressive as it was amusing. Made 10 hit-ups and was solid at the other end defusing kicks. 6

6 KODI NIKORIMA: Line-break assists in both of the Warriors’ tries late in the first half, backing up to score the latter. Made 23 tackles but was an utter deer in the headlights defensively in the first half as the Rabbitohs tore through their left edge. No kicks, preferring to let Townsend take full responsibility for the team’s direction. 6

7 CHAD TOWNSEND: Tough day to be a team’s chief shot-caller and barely stood out, besides throwing the last pass for Montoya’s try. Slotted into the role of primary kicker and did a decent job. 5.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c): Some strong charges but just seven hit-ups for 67 metres in 50 minutes on the paddock from the stand-in skipper, who suffered a compound finger fracture and could be out for the rest of the year. Made 27 tackles. 6

9 JAZZ TEVAGA: Modest initial stint at hooker, where he was caught out defensively on the goal-line. Had just 20 minutes in the back-row in a bewildering rotation, finishing with only six runs but a hearty 38 tackles in 42 minutes overall. 5

10 MATT LODGE: Led the pack by a mile with 12 runs for 107 metres and reeled off 28 tackles, but missed six tackles and got too loose with his offloads. Effort-wise, looks super-determined to become a leader at the club. 6

11 JACK MURCHIE: Suprise recall to the starting side last just 20 minutes – in which he managed one run and seven tackles – due to a head knock. 4

12 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Strong stat-lines with 10 runs for 85 metres (including a team-high 41 post-contact) and 40 tackles. Still feel he has more to offer on attack, but the enduring memory of his performance was a poor dropped ball during the second half. 6

13 JOSH CURRAN: The Warriors’ best forward, going off for a game-high 51 tackles – including several inspiring efforts. No real chances to impress in attack but had eight runs for 67 metres. 7

 

14 TANIELA OTUKOLO: Played 61 minutes in his second NRL outing and looked solid in less than ideal circumstances. Nice blindside option to spark the movement for Montoya’s try, had a couple of promising darts and made 38 tackles, though missed five. Definitely seems to have the goods and could be an excellent dummy-half rotation with Egan in 2022, while there’s no reason he can’t play a Havili-like role in the back-row. 6

15 ELIESA KATOA: Came on for HIA victim Curran and suffered the same fate, lasting just 11 minutes. 4

16 BUNTY AFOA: Handed 44 minutes – far more than usual – after his recall, but was more of a defensive workhorse with an impressive 36 stops. Made just four runs. 5.5

17 LEESON AH MAU: Six runs and 24 tackles in his 44 minutes on the paddock. Steady. 5.5

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