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Alright you bloodthirsty animals. Despite spending the last day and a half trying to erase everything about Friday night from my memory, you’ve bullied me into attempting to evaluate the Warriors’ abomination against the Tigers that somehow ended up in a win. Now let’s never speak of this game again – and pray for the poor Dally M judge.

1 REECE WALSH: Probably the most competent Warrior – which is to say he was one of the few players above Wednesday night masters grade touch footy standard. Team-high 157 metres, made their only line-break (a long run that came unstuck due to calf cramp), no errors and defused a few kicks, while his four-from-four off the tee proved the difference. Gets panned for his goal-line defence but did pretty well to almost deny James Tamou early. Still way off the electrifying standard he set in his first 10 or so NRL games last year, offering a fraction of the threat near the opposition try-line he did in 2021. 5.5

2 ADAM POMPEY: Came up with a try despite having his eyes closed while chasing a bomb. That was about as good as it got for A-Pomp, who contributed a miserable nine runs for 78 metres, gave away a penalty and was all at sea in defence as the Tigers’ right edge carved up on the reg. His four-pointer will probably earn him a six-year extension with player option despite having no business being in first grade. 4

3 JESSE ARTHARS: A deflating effort after the promise of last week. More involved with nine runs but came up with less metres (54), while he was given an absolute bath by Oliver Gildart, who finished with over 200 running metres and two line-breaks. 3.5

4 ROCCO BERRY: The ‘he’s only played 20 games of league in his life’ line is wearing painfully thin. His timing and nous on attack is virtually non-existent, while he served up three ordinary handling errors against the Tigers. Some quality stops in an improved defensive display were a faint silver lining. Probably not being helped with the lack of quality inside and outside him, but the harsh fact is Berry isn’t anywhere near NRL standard yet and forcing him to learn on the run could be hindering his development, though Nathan Brown seems convinced his extended trial-by-fire will serve him well in the long run. I prefer Aitken as a retrenched back-rower, too, but we’ve got to get someone half-capable out wide – even if they don’t pass. 4

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: One of the better performers, particularly defensively after his dismal opening fortnight. Jammed in on multiple occasions to shut down dangerous Tigers sweeps. Also tapped back a bomb for the first try, made 13 runs for 110 metres and his sin-binning after running down Madden may have ultimately saved the game. 5.5

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Perfect setting for a breakout performance from CHT and he started well, forcing a line dropout and setting up the first try with perfect kicks. Then it all fell apart. Had a couple of unhappy first-half moments cleaning up kicks, generally struggled to steer the team around the park, stayed down for a penalty before getting hauled off for an HIA and came up with three handling errors – including a horrific drop that handed his opposite, four-game veteran Jock Madden (who comprehensively outplayed Chanel), a runaway that probably should’ve cost the Warriors the game one way or another. 4

7 KODI NIKORIMA: Seeing Kodi’s name on the team sheet is becoming about as appealing as getting a speed camera fine in the mail. The highlight was undoubtedly some gutsy (some would say uncharacteristic) defence, but was an absolute ghost on attack against an opponent that was ripe for the picking. Fluked a try-assist with a shallow bomb. Two handling errors, ran just five times, while a high-risk, low-reward offload moments after taking an intercept summed up where his game is at. 4

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c): Still put up solid numbers – 15 runs from 150 metres, 27 tackles and no misses – but way down on the class, impact and leadership of the previous two weeks. An overall team performance like that doesn’t reflect too well on a captain and AFB was guilty of some loose play and bad errors. 5

9 WAYDE EGAN: The kind of performance that makes me second-guess whether we are actually being duped. I get there are subtleties in his game that I don’t pick up on week-to-week, but if Egan’s going to be so un-dynamic he has to be more consistent and reliable – and the errors and dreadful kicks he came up with against the Tigers were staggeringly bad. He’s played 69 NRL games now, spare me the development chat. 4

10 MATT LODGE: His sideline chunder last week was more aesthetically pleasing than watching him play against his junior club. Absolutely shocking mis-read in Tamou’s try, three errors and a brain-melting decision to throw an aimless long ball near the Tigers’ try-line. Toiled for 148 metres on 17 runs but should be demoted to the bench next week to send a message. 3

11 EUAN AITKEN: Great hustle to score the opening try, 12 runs for 95 metres and 31 tackles for the Auckland-shy utility. Adequate. 5

12 ELIESA KATOA: Just 30 minutes on the park for a return of five runs and 11 tackles. Nil impact and nowhere near over the line for a spot in a full-strength 17. 3.5

13 JOSH CURRAN: Will probably end up with more Dally M points on effort alone, racking up 15 runs for 141 metres and 28 tackles. But his early miss as Tamou (who it should be noted was not his man to cover) scored wasn’t good and he generally was unable to impose himself on the game as he did in the first two rounds. 5


14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Limited time at dummy-half this week and finished with 10 runs for 86 metres and 21 tackles (no misses) after playing 26 of his 31 minutes in the back-row. Has managed to delete the penalties and errors out of his game in 2022 but the focus on discipline has potentially diluted some of the lively, game-changing positives in his kitbag. 5

15 BUNTY AFOA: Hardworking in 27 minutes off the pine (eight runs for 86 metres, 16 tackles) but gave away two penalties and overall not a patch on his eye-catching performance against the Titans. 4.5

16 AARON PENE: Waited an absolute age to make his entrance in a baffling (but customary) bench rotation call from Brown. Made five runs and nine tackles before going off after just 12 minutes. Not sure if injured, I was almost catatonic by the time he came on due to the bottom-of-the-barrel standard of footy. 4

17 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Saw a bit of natter about an improved performance from Sironen, which only means you didn’t need a player tracker cam to confirm he was actually out there. Played 58 minutes (so I can only assume he is in Brownie’s Supercoach team), made seven runs, did a bit of passing and chalked up 20 tackles but had five misses. Daryl Halligan’s proclamation during the week that Sironen as a ball-playing lock can be the Warriors’ saviour was one of the ‘Stray Dog’s’ best yet. 4.5

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Categories: Previews + Reviews, WARRIORS NEWS

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1 reply

  1. Aww common guys
    Do the ratingssss

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