TWL RD 20: WARRIORS PLAYER RATINGS

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The Ed Kosi renaissance, Wayde Egan’s five-eighth moonlighting and Tohu Harris’ indefatigable efforts were some notable highlights in the Warriors’ ultimately disappointing 24-12 loss to the under-strength, out-of-sorts Storm.

1 REECE WALSH: Came out firing after last week’s bench demotion and produced some mouth-watering highlights, including a line-break and game-high eight tackle-breaks. Also had a couple of moments he’d prefer to have over – and ultimately it has been to be questioned whether a team this shaky can progress with a fullback this flighty and physically unimposing. Still baffles that he is such a secondary factor in the opposition 20 when he was so irresistibly brilliant in his first 10 NRL games. 6

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Not much went his way and didn’t do a lot to change it. Six runs for 52 metres is bang ordinary for a winger of his experience and hard-running capabilities, while he was so badly in the wrong in his midair contest with Meaney that we should gift Walsh to the Storm if their back-up No.1 is out for the year. 4.5

3 MARCELO MONTOYA: A real positive of a tough night was the confirmation that Montoya can play centre and do a decent job. Some strong defensive plays and 11 runs for 102 metres, always looking like an absolute hassle to tackle. Poor decision to squeeze in on an already-covered defender in the lead-up to Meaney’s try proved crucial, however. 6.5

4 ADAM POMPEY: Come on, bro. Physically he’s an Adonis, mentally – in rugby league terms – he’s kicking back on a beach in the Bahamas with a gigantic doobie. Nine runs for 80 metres but just never looks like a shadow of a game-breaker at centre, and while the late-game falcon was perhaps unfortunate, it was poetically appropriate. 5

5 ED KOSI: Well, well, well…is big Ed coming of age? A maiden NRL hat-trick in his 11th game – all three tries courtesy of well-timed runs and fine finishes – was the headliner of the Warriors’ overall effort, while he led the backline with 15 runs for 136 metres. Looked unsure in defence a few times but no gaffes and zero errors. It has to be said that unleashing a keyboard/shhhhh try celebration when he was just 113 NRL minutes removed from arguably the worst individual performance in the club’s history was ballsy, perhaps a tad premature and potential future fodder for the
nrl images that precede unfortunate events Twitter account…but if that’s the benchmark, I’ll happily pay Kosi his dues every day of the week. 7.5

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Laid on Kosi’s first try but his night ended after 28 minutes – hopefully not the last time we see the lad before his rugby league hiatus. 5.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Some genuine highlights, including four forced line dropouts with a superb varied attacking kicking game and a brilliant try-assist for Kosi’s third from a scrum win. Offered plenty of spark and effort, but on attack just seemed a yard off the pace. Created several chances where execution was a touch off. Would be superb on a good team…not suited to a mud one when there’s not a lot of quality around him. Great late try-saver showed the effort and pride in performance is still there. 6.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Finished with 12 runs for 121 metres and 27 tackles, but it’s hard to recall too many Warriors games where AFB was less prominent. Somewhat similar to the June Test at the same venue, coming up against some of the same middle forwards. 5.5

9 WAYDE EGAN: What a rollercoaster evening. Carted off early for an HIA only to be shoved into the halves soon after CHT’s injury – and performing wonderfully. Looked completely at home at five-eighth, creating space and indecision in the defence, taking good options and producing a delicious floating ball for Kosi to race in for his second. Very good to know. 7

10 TOHU HARRIS: Obscene numbers yet again from a 30-year-old playing 80 minutes at prop. The skipper toiled for 37 tackles and 188 metres from 22 runs – a gigantic effort that we’ve almost come to take for granted. The workhorse’s workhorse, with 19 passes to boot. 7.5

11 EUAN AITKEN: Probably the leading contender for the Simon Mannering Medal after 10 rounds, the Dolphins-bound Scotsman has tailed off a bit form-wise. Had 12 runs for 96 metres and a team-high 39 tackles, but made one bad error on attack and his penchant for pass-refusal cost the Warriors on another occasion. 6

12 JOSH CURRAN: The cult hero’s work-rate since returning from injury doesn’t compute when lined up against what we know of his thirst for work and desire to get involved. Played 70 minutes but had just six runs – several of which were inside the Storm’s 20 – and racked up 23 tackles. Gave away two penalties. 5

13 JAZZ TEVAGA: Not exactly a standout but worked his arse off in 44 minutes, churning through 30 tackles and 11 runs for 75 metres despite taking a heavy knock. Heart and soul (and a conceded penalty), as usual. 6

 

14 FREDDY LUSSICK: More minutes than expected after Egan’s short break and CHT’s injury, doing most of his good work on the defensive side of the ball with 37 tackles. Just two runs, one error and one penalty conceded. Dummy-half service OK. 5.5

15 BUNTY AFOA: That’s the Bunty we know and love. On the field for only 34 minutes but bent the line back for 106 metres on 11 carries. 7

16 ELIESA KATOA: Well firstly, skitzing out at SJ after his decoy run/fumble cock-up was a terrible, terrible look – especially after the stories about on-field bickering during the week. Aside from that, contributed really well with nine runs for 85 metres and 19 tackles in 38 minutes, including some wonderful clean-up work near the Warriors’ line. 6

17 JACKSON FREI: Got 18 fairly innocuous minutes in his second NRL outing. Two runs for 19 metres and eight tackles – welcome back. 5

 

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