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Some obvious standouts – and no genuine duds – as the Warriors racked up three wins in a row for the first time in three and a half years.

1 REECE WALSH: Certainly didn’t overplay his hand, but error-free and sound at the back on top of two big moments. Lovely rainbow cut-out assist for Kosi’s try and sizzling chase to score the only try of the second half, on top of a strong four-from-five effort from the tee. 7.5

18 EDWARD KOSI: Highly promising first half, bagging the first try of his NRL career and running strongly with no negative moments. But before I needed to start fashioning a half-apology for the 400-degree bake he received last time out in first grade, the rookie produced a couple of reminders of his erratic rawness. Coughed up a ball that should have handed the Bulldogs a try, only for it to be pulled back because he was taken high after the fact, the spilled a gift-wrapped four-point on the Bulldogs’ line. Finished with 15 runs for 135 metres and four tackle-breaks, though, in his most encouraging display in top company to date. 5.5

3 PETA HIKU: Was hoping for a bit more from Hiku creatively, but was nonetheless hardworking on attack with 13 runs for 119 metres. Feel much better for having him out there given some of the subpar centre combos we’ve trotted out in 2021. 6

4 ADAM POMPEY: Very strong with the ball in hand in the first half, getting ‘Brandy’ Alexander’s favourite body parts in the NRL pumping with a stack of post-contact metres. Quiet after the break and finished with 11 runs for 91 metres (43 post-contact), but one of his better showings of 2021 – aside from a penalty conceded and three ruck infringements. 6

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Montoya is yet to be the Warriors’ best afield, but he has been one of their best every week for some time now. Nothing out-and-out brilliant, but led the Warriors’ back with 137 metres (64 post-contact) on 14 carries, consistently defused dangerous situations in his corner and had an equal-team-high four tackle-breaks. One dusty defensive read but otherwise hard to fault. 7.5

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Very encouraging once again in just his second game back. Did the bulk of the kicking and did it well – particularly with his bold third-tackle option that produced a sizzling try for Walsh. Ran often and with plenty of intent (13 runs for 89 metres), reeled off 20 tackles without a miss and looked very comfortable in everything he did. 7.5

7 SEAN O’SULLIVAN: A bit of a mixed bag, but the good was very good: two line-break assists in the first couple of minutes, the second producing a try, and two more key try involvements. Also ran the ball a team-high 21 times for 127 metres and made 21 stops in defence with just one miss. An intercept pass and a couple of other dreadful balls to turn over possession were less impressive, but the fact is O’Sullivan has been prominent in a rare three-match winning streak for the club. 6.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c): Another outstanding stand-in captain’s knock, powering for over 200 metres for the third straight game. His tally included a massive 100 post-contact metres, while he also had a couple of offloads and made 31 tackles in a big 64-minute effort. Elite. 8

22 WAYDE EGAN: Nice and polished at dummy-half in his surprise early return, while he made 34 tackles in 54 minutes. I’m sure Fonzie will tell us his how footy smarts around the ruck contributed significantly to some of the Warriors tries – and I’ll admit they looked a better team with him back. 6.5

10 JACKSON FREI: Just the 26 minutes on debut, making five runs for 44 metres and 13 tackles without a miss. Certainly didn’t look out of place – looking forward to seeing more (at Kane Evans’ expense) from the contract-chasing tall timber. 5.5

11 EUAN AITKEN: Looks so at home in the second-row. Huge workload in attack with 17 runs for 157 metres (70 post-contact) and four tackle-breaks, and backed it up on the other side of the ball with 39 tackles and no misses in an 80-minute performance. His pace and propensity to elude opponents and head infield unsettles defences, while his pass-last mentality is less of an issue than when he starving his wingers of the ball. 7.5

12 JOSH CURRAN: Boy has this bloke come on in 2021. Rarely has he not stood out this year – and today was his best in first grade. Long bust during the Warriors’ first set, charged through for the first try soon after and came up with his third try-assist in four games courtesy of another great edge run close to the try-line for Tevaga. Finished with 175 metres from a massive 20 carries, topped the tackle count with 43 (one miss) and his kick-chase and kick-pressure was first class all day. If he didn’t get the three Dally M points, they may as well can the award for good. 9

9 JAZZ TEVAGA: Returned to lock and was very solid in 55 minutes of game-time. Backed up to score his first try of the season and toiled for 36 tackles and 16 runs for 129 metres. A couple of ruck infringements. 7


14 KODI NIKORIMA: His 29 minutes on the field was rather uneventful – going for a couple of darts and making 12 tackles – but came up with some good cover defence and was sound at dummy-half. No one can tell me he’s not a good option at hooker, despite his defensive frailties. 5.5

15 BUNTY AFOA: A real chance to step up with Lodge out and went OK: eight runs for 76 metres and 25 tackles in 41 minutes. Nothing amazing, but no complaints. 6

16 JAMAYNE TAUNOA-BROWN: Given 23 minutes on the paddock and really looked to make them count, racking up 22 tackles and five runs for 50 metres. Should be picked ahead of Evans every day of the week – but especially Thursday through Sunday. 6

17 ELIESA KATOA: Looks hungry, chewing off 75 metres from 10 runs in his 38 minutes on the field, while he should have had a try-assist but for Kosi’s butterfingers. Gave away a penalty for a clumsy high shot. 6

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