TWL RD 16: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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Spine shines in homecoming celebration.

14 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: CHT’s impending sabbatical is tinged with sadness for supporters after a display like that. Sensational out of position, running for 148 metres on 16 carries, chasing through to score a try, probing on attack and coming with some wonderful defensive plays. The best player on the field when the Warriors last won at Mt Smart – against Manly in late-2019 – and not far off it today. 8

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Few things are more certain in rugby league than DWZ taking the lowest-percentage option available in a confined space, but after a couple of early attacking missteps the former Kiwi Test captain played like a man possessed. Led the backline with 157 metres from 16 Karmichael-Hunt-in-the-late-2000s-like carries, while a couple of aerial efforts led to tries to teammates. 7.5

3 JESSE ARTHARS: Snared the last try and racked up 98 metres on 11 runs, but was arguably better without the ball. Made 16 tackles – including a huge desperation play to force a Hastings error, leading to the Warriors’ opening try. 7

18 ADAM POMPEY: Given a late reprieve and offered up a stinging reminder of why he was ditched from the starting line-up in the first place. A first-tackle flick ended up in the grandstand – and would have seen Montoya bundled into touch if it had hit the mark anyway. Just awful. But ran strongly (12 runs for 117 metres) and handled James Roberts fine (14 tackles) otherwise. 5.5

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Came up with a couple of errors but a typically busy and wholehearted performance consisting of 18 runs for 140 metres and some good work under the high ball. 6.5

6 RONALD VOLKMAN: Still keeping his attacking kitbag under wraps, but two games into his NRL career young Ronnie certainly doesn’t look out of place. Took the line on, put in some good kicks and made 22 tackles without a miss. 6.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Short of an out-and-out highlight-reel moment, you couldn’t have asked for too much more from SJ today. Harnessed the occasion brilliantly and controlled things from start to finish. A stellar all-round kicking game produced two tries, threatened regularly as a ball-player despite not getting overwhelming results and ran for over 100 metres. I’m not going to go into his overall 2022 difficulties – perceived or otherwise – here, but this was proof a happy footballer (and from a half’s perspective, one that gets a half-decent platform to play off the back of) is much more likely to produce the goods. 8

20 AARON PENE: Catapulted from the reserves into the starting line-up and looked good in a 16-minute opening stint, making six strong hit-ups and going close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Brought off and wasn’t sighted again. 6

9 WAYDE EGAN: The best player on the field in the first half. Broke the line in the opening minute and came within centimetres of scoring the first try, before laying it on anyway for Harris in brilliant fashion. Finished with 86 metres from eight runs and made 26 tackles before getting an early mark after 63 minutes. 7.5

10 JAZZ TEVAGA: Carted off for an HIA after his first hit-up but returned with a vengeance, churning through 29 tackles and 17 runs for 143 metres in a trademark performance. Wouldn’t have expected anything less from one of only three Warriors who played in the last Mt Smart fixture. Unlucky to be penalised at the end of the first half for a fractionally late shot on Hastings. 7

4 EUAN AITKEN: Denied the chance to return to his natural spot at centre but responded by doing his usual second-row job and then some. Chalked up 112 metres from 11 runs and a massive 50 tackles in an understated but super-important contribution. 7

13 JOSH CURRAN: Still trying to find his best three games back from an injury lay-off. Very busy early in attack and worked hard all day in defence (36 tackles) but had a couple of errors and eight runs for 69 metres is relatively modest by his standards. 5.5

12 TOHU HARRIS: Toiled for 68 minutes, chewed off 131 metres from 14 runs and 37 tackles, and ran a great line to charge over for the opening try. Good captain’s knock. 7

 

15 BUNTY AFOA: Brought up the ton in style. Each of his eight runs for 85 metres was high-velocity and bent the Tigers’ defensive line back, while he reeled off 25 tackles in 52 minutes on the park. Enjoying a very consistent 2022. 7

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Cooled his heels on the bench initially after kicking COVID but added immediate authority in the middle after being injected. Was on the field for 42 minutes and ran for a team-high 163 metres on 13 runs. Played like a leader. 7

17 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Given 22 minutes and got through a fair bit of work (four runs, 15 tackles) but pretty anonymous. 5

22 FREDDY LUSSICK: Closed out the match with 18 minutes at dummy-half and celebrated a contract extension nicely, with three probing dummy-half runs and 11 tackles. 6

 

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