TWL RD 24: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Marks out of 10 as the Warriors’ finals hopes fell apart against the Raiders.

1 REECE WALSH: We’ve been given some heat for supposedly overlooking the rookie sensation’s less-auspicious performances, but I don’t think you’ll have to worry here. Struggled at the back – aside from a last second fumble to gift the Raiders a try – and was unable to inject himself into the Warriors’ attack. Only made 76 metres from 11 carries and unlike virtually every outing so far in 2021, had zero highlight-reel moments. 5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Was on hand to score an opportunist try in the first half and made a decent 136 metres on 16 runs but had some horrific defensive moments on the right wing during the second half. A couple of warning signs last week and was way worse as the Raiders’ left ran rampant. 5

3 PETA HIKU: Feted last week as the Warriors’ best, the opportunities didn’t open up for Hiku this week and he had his hands full with Timoko. Toiled for 15 runs and 152 metres but few standout moments. 5.5

20 ROCCO BERRY: Marked his return from a six-week layoff with a try from a Raiders fumble, but highlights thereafter were scarce. Made just 50 metres on nine carries, and although he recorded 18 tackles the teenager’s inexperience was badly exposed by the Green Machine’s left-side attack. 5

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Something of a shining light, carting the ball up an extraordinary 24 times for a team-high 194 metres and again snuffing out sketchy situations at the back. 7

6 SEAN O’SULLIVAN: Scored a great try in the opening minute and contributed a strong running game (13 runs for 126 metres) and defensive output (26 tackles, one miss) as well as kicking for a try but was considerably more erratic than in recent outings, making three errors and giving away two penalties. 5

7 CHAD TOWNSEND: Directed and kicked (including for DWZ’s try) well during the first half, but his exit early in the second stanza proved crucial. Hampered by a shoulder injury just minutes into his second Warriors stint, it’s arguable whether we would’ve been better off if the Townsville-bound playmaker never turned up. 5.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c): A big contribution of 15 runs for 179 metres and 28 tackles, but not quite the influence of recent weeks – though it’s not his fault Brown played him for just 53 minutes. One agonising second-half error. 7

9 WAYDE EGAN: Spectacular from the oft-maligned rake. Made a first-minute break to set up a try and continued with a brilliant, rarely-seen running game to finish with 117 metres from nine dummy-half runs. Also had 37 tackles without a miss and the Warriors fell apart when he was forced off 13 minutes from fulltime. 8

10 MATT LODGE: The Warriors were much better for his return, which featured 16 runs for 160 metres and 28 tackles. Had five tackle-breaks but was less influential than most game so far at the club, largely shelving his passing game. 7

11 JOSH CURRAN: Tough day out for the new cult hero, who left the field with a shoulder injury but returned for a short stint. A return of five runs for 17 metres and two errors reflects his battles, though still made 36 tackles. 5.5

12 EUAN AITKEN: Another who was less effective with the ball, but nonetheless made eight runs for 71 metres and impressed on defence with 41 stops. 6

13 BAYLEY SIRONEN: You might be impressed with Sironen’s stats of 11 runs and 55 tackles. But his 80-minute performance also included just 66 running metres and a staggering 11 missed tackles, including an embarrassing palm-off from Jordan Rapana. Also came up with the season’s worst kick, plus a penalty and two ruck infringements. How he is getting the No.13 ahead of Jazz Tevaga is a giant indictment on Nathan Brown. 5

 

14 KODI NIKORIMA: Dropped the ball seconds after entering the fray and never got much better. Created nothing, ran the ball twice, missed six tackles and didn’t kick. The Warriors would be better off if he got picked up elsewhere, because talent-wise he is too tempting to pick somewhere but rarely delivers. 4

15 BUNTY AFOA: Worked hard enough in his 39 minutes for 29 tackles (no misses) and nine runs for 79 metres, but struggled to replicate the authority of AFB and Lodge in their opening stint. Debatable whether he will ever truly kick on, or just be another Lisone-like plodder. 5.5

16 ELIESA KATOA: Some decent charges (seven runs for 66 metres) in half an hour on the paddock and made 18 tackles, but came up with an error and no overwhelming impact. 5

21 KANE EVANS: Staggering that he was even given another chance to be evaluated. On the field for 29 minutes, in which he made just three uneventful runs – which is arguably an improvement on the error-laden charges he habitually makes. Racked up 29 tackles, many of which were low-effort third-man-in grabs. Caught out as a lazy defender on plenty of occasions, and remains one of the most bewilderingly over-selected players in Warriors history in the wake of his 12th appearance in 2021. To leave Tevaga or JTB in favour of this guy is befuddling. 4

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