TWL RD 12: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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The skipper stood tall but several other big names failed to hit the mark in a 24-16 defeat to the struggling Knights at Redcliffe that leaves the embattled Warriors in a 4-8 hole with just one win from their last seven games, capping a horrendous week for the club.

 

1 REECE WALSH: Try-assist for Vailea, 122 metres and four tackle-breaks – but certainly didn’t inject himself into the attack to the extent we’ve become accustomed or the Warriors needed. A handling error and yet another kick-off out on the full, along with his conversion slip-up, capped one of Walsh’s more forgettable NRL outings of his 27 to date. 5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Second straight solid display from DWZ as he firms for a spot in the Kiwis’ threadbare three-quarter for the Test against Tonga. Latched onto an SJ kick for his sixth try (a team-high total) in just seven appearances this year, racked up 127 metres on 16 carries. Jammed in to snuff out some dangerous Knights raids, though it didn’t pay off as opposite Lee scored. 6.5

3 VILIAMI VAILEA: The rookie has turned a corner in the past couple of weeks, powering over for his fifth try of the season in only six games and topping 100 running metres. Should have had another try in the last minute but was held up. Still looks a tad unsure in defence, which isn’t helped by being on a badly struggling right edge. 6

4 ADAM POMPEY: Gave esteemed opposite Dane Gagai a bit of a bath in the first half, scoring a superb opening try and coming close on another couple of occasions. Quite in the second stanza and had a handling error but chewed off a team-high 167 metres on 18 runs in an admirable bounce-back from last week’s Hall of Fame shocker. 7

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: A typically high-octane effort with 18 runs for 154 metres despite spending 10 minutes in the bin. And honestly, he deserved to be sat down despite what some are bleating – it was swinging arm to the chops of a player who was rising from a low position. Could miss a week. 6

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Promising start with a hand in the first two tries, but it unravelled a bit in CHT’s return from a five-week layoff. A kick out on the full and two handling errors, including the drop of a kick-off after the Warriors’ go-ahead try that effectively handed the Knights their first lead. Made 19 tackles but tentative with the ball – perhaps understandable given the nature of the injury he was returning from, but still concerning (and uncharacteristic) from a player who is already has one eye on an exit. 4.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: If the explosive rumours are to be believed, this was not the type of performance Johnson – already struggling badly for consistency – would have been looking for. An exquisite try-assist for DWZ, a nice hand in Vailea’s try and four forced dropouts were negated by two kicks out on the full, two handling errors and horrible reads in two of the Knights’ tries and a reluctance to take the line on. When he’s good, he looks very good…but it’s rarely for more than a sporadic set at a time. Undoubtedly hampered by playing in a disjointed, beleaguered rabble but SJ is not doing the things he can control anywhere near the expected standard. 4.5

8 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Not really suited to a starting prop role at this stage of his career, but seven runs for 57 metres is a very modest return for a front-rower in 40 minutes on the paddock – particularly in a pack lacking size. Made 19 tackles without a miss. 5

9 FREDDY LUSSICK: Made a great bust to spark the Warriors’ early onslaught and looked pretty polished in his first start for the club. A bit surprising to see him only get 43 minutes but sound when on and made 21 tackles with no misses. 5.5

10 JAZZ TEVAGA: His 101st NRL game will be remembered more for his post-match interview but Jazz seemed to relish the challenge of wearing the No.10 jersey, making 86 metres on 10 carries and 28 tackles without a miss. Conceded the team’s only six-again of the game. 6.5

11 EUAN AITKEN: A better outing after a poor return from injury last week, racking up 14 carries for 110 metres and 35 tackles in a strong 80-minute effort from the Dolphins-bound edge man. 7

13 JACK MURCHIE: Started on the edge after being named at lock. Eight carries for 66 metres and 24 tackles, plus a nifty bit of skill to get his boot to a loose Knights pass and regather. Would have played the full 80 if not for a head clash with Tevaga. 6

12 TOHU HARRIS: Swapped with Murchie and was an absolute behemoth. The skipper had team-high tallies of 24 runs (for 162 metres) and 41 tackles (0 misses), and chimed in regularly as a ball-player, chalking up 17 passes – including a hand in Vailea’s try. All class among the wreckage. 8

 

14 TANIELA OTUKOLO: Finally got a dummy-half crack and looked sharp – couple of probing runs, sound service and 28 tackles (zero misses) in 37 minutes on the park. A bright spot on a bleak afternoon. 6

15 AARON PENE: Perhaps surprising to not see Pene get more than 34 minutes given the Warriors’ prop shortage, but made them count with 11 runs for 102 metres and 18 tackles with no misses. 6

16 BUNTY AFOA: Played the most minutes of the prop rotation (54) and worked hard for 101 metres on 12 carries and 29 tackles. Having a decent season in a struggling team and it will be pleasing to see Bunty join the Warriors’ century club in four games’ time. 6

21 DUNAMIS LUI: The veteran mid-season recruit was a late inclusion on bench and made five runs for 43 metres and 12 tackles in 19 minutes on the paddock. 5

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