TWL RD 4: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Impressive across the board as the Warriors produced the equal-biggest winning margin and conceded the equal-least points of the Nathan Brown era.

1 REECE WALSH: Some sparkling moments – in particular, an outstanding try-assist, a key hand in another four-pointer and a line-break during the first half – and chalked up 17 runs for 174 metres, including nine tackle-breaks. Walsh’s high-velocity approach to his footy means some errors are inevitable and he made four on Saturday, but his involvement (31 touches) is such a huge plus and he’s constantly looking to change the game. Combination with SJ will evolve – good early signs there. 7.5

25 EDWARD KOSI: Yes, he’s been a bit of a TWL punching bag in his previous five NRL games, but Big Ed barely put a foot wrong in his first outing of 2022. Made some big plays in defence and led the three-quarter line with 15 runs for 143 metres. Wouldn’t quite call it a breakout game – it was more a tradesmanlike winger’s performance and he barely featured on attack – but certainly his best so far in first grade and put his hand up for more time in the top team. 7

3 JESSE ARTHARS: An excellent try-double running off Johnson and Walsh, including a beautiful hole run to register first points. Ten runs for 68 metres and had a fine game defensively opposite the in-form Herbie Farnworth. Hard to leave out when everyone is available. 7

2 ADAM POMPEY: Surely his best NRL game as a centre. A super-slick flick pass to send Marcelo over, 12 runs for 120 metres and some impressive defensive efforts. 7

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Typically energetic display on the flank with 13 runs for 109 metres and a great finish to score late in the first half. After watching his opposing wingers score a bunch of tries in the opening two rounds, Montoya has enjoyed back-to-back big games in defence – most notably jamming in to force an error from Kotoni Staggs. 7

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Finally got to play alongside SJ for the first time and looks set to thrive in the secondary half role. The left edge attack looked far more dangerous than it has all year and Chanel had a beautiful deft touch in the lead-up to Montoya’s try. Only kicked three times but forced a line dropout. 7

24 SHAUN JOHNSON: Exactly the sort of halfback the Warriors have been pining for and this was a hugely encouraging display for just his second appearance of the season returning early from a pec injury. Wonderful try-assist for Arthars’ first try, a hand in his second, a superb kicking game that included two forced line dropouts and a sensational try-saving tackle on Corey Oates at a crucial juncture. Would have liked to see him go for the jugular when they had the Broncos on the rack in the second half. 8

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE (c): Would surprise if he didn’t get the three Dally M votes. A behemoth up front with a game-high 196 metres (98 post-contact), got his passing game going and made a 26-tackle contribution in 58 minutes that included some big extra-effort stops. A real captain’s knock – what an asset. 8.5

9 WAYDE EGAN: Was in the wars a fair bit – including an HIA stint on the sideline – but a polished display from the polarising 71-game rake. Lovely blindside shifts from dummy-half in the lead-up to Arthars’ first and Montoya’s tries and his crisp service helped keep the Warriors rumbling through the middle. Chipped in with 31 tackles. 7

10 MATT LODGE: Great response to last week’s shocker. Finished with 175 metres from 18 carries – including five tackle-breaks – against his old team. Hopefully a signs of things to come. 7.5

11 EUAN AITKEN: Another solid 80-minute shift from the ex-centre, reeling off a team-high 36 tackles and making 10 runs for 82 metres. Even passed the ball three times! 6.5

13 JOSH CURRAN: Arguably the Warriors’ best across the first three rounds, Curran endured his poorest showing of 2022 after being moved to the edge. Decent work-rate (12 runs for 88 metres and 31 tackles) but struggled to have the same impact, while came up with a handling error and put in an ill-conceived fourth-tackle kick in quick succession while the Warriors were hot on attack. 6

14 JAZZ TEVAGA: Revelled in the opportunity to start in his preferred lock spot, chewing through a pile of work – 17 runs for 123 metres and 31 tackles, played the link role nicely and had a team-high four offloads. The new, disciplined version of Jazz was error-free but the penalty he gave away is set to be a costly one, surely destined for an unsheduled holiday for a regrettable cannonball tackle that was made worse by the vision of Patrick Carrigan sitting on the bench in a knee brace. 7.5

 

7 KODI NIKORIMA: Only got 13 minutes on the park while Egan was having an HIA. Made two dummy-half runs and got through 11 tackles. 5

12 ELIESA KATOA: Given a mere 19 minutes of game-time, carting the ball up five times, making 16 tackles and coming up with a pretty ordinary handling error. 5

15 BUNTY AFOA: Solid 37-minute shift, making 97 metres from 10 runs and racking up 26 tackles. Did his job without excelling. Could have chased a big harder on the inside when Adam Reynolds scored. 6

20 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Called up for Aaron Pene and ran the ball five times for 53 in 18 minutes before copping an injury. 5

 

 

 

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