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TWL‘s player ratings return after a few weekends away from the home office. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t hate that performance – four withdrawals since Tuesday, halfback gone at halftime, nothing to play for while the Panthers were celebrating their minor premiership win…could have been a lot uglier. If Brown was still in the box we could have had another club record on our hands.

1 REECE WALSH: Marked improvement on a career-worst display against the Cowboys. Backed up to race away for the sizzling opener and had a couple of other nice moments on attack and at the back during the first half. Ended up doing the bulk of the kicking with Johnson exiting and forced two line dropouts. Just five runs for 62 metres, though, and a whopping seven missed tackles. 5.5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Racked up 122 metres form a team-high 18 runs – a gutsy effort in a team getting monstered in the run metres department – and a few good takes near his own line, but produced three errors and his opposite bagged a double. 5.5

3 VILIAMI VAILEA: Torrid night for the teenager against a ripping-and-tearing Panthers left-side attack. Made 14 tackles and threw himself into everything defensively, but missed seven tackles and barely featured with the ball (six runs for 38 metres). Still looking like a 2023 first-choice centre option. 5

18 ADAM POMPEY: Late call-up for Montoya after a few weeks in the reserves contingent. Reasonable effort opposite the dangerous Stephen Crichton and went looking for work, topping 100 metres from 12 runs. Handy back-up three-quarter but would be disappointed if he wormed his way back as an underperforming regular under Webster. 5.5

5 ED KOSI: Came up with three errors and opponent To’o scored twice (though he couldn’t have done much about either try), but was hungry for tough carries and finished with 121 metres on 14 runs. Also made a couple of impressive sideline bursts in the second half – the first of which he was unlucky not to notch a spectacular try assist after kicking infield cleverly. Far from perfect but again enhanced his reputation. 6

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA: Backed up Dunamis Lui to send Walsh away for the opening try and consistently put his body on the line to finish with 18 tackles. His kicks forced two line dropouts but didn’t get a lot else going on attack. 5.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Relatively sound but uneventful first half besides some kicks that forced line dropouts and created tryscoring half-chances. Couple of good moments in defence, a couple of bad ones. Didn’t come back out the tunnel after halftime. 4.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Was always going to be a tough ask carrying the front-row can against the rampant Panthers pack and finished with 16 runs for a team-high 138 metres. Just seems to be lacking the trademark grunt and impact that underpins his top form. OK shift, just seems to be playing well within himself. 6

14 FREDDY LUSSICK: Got the start with Egan pulling out and played 70 minutes. Just one run and a non-factor on attack, but toiled for a team-high 38 tackles – including a string of valiant scrambling efforts in the first half. 5.5

10 TOHU HARRIS: Deft pass to start the first tryscoring movement and equally delicious ball to send Katoa over. Uncharacteristically low ball-running output in 62 minutes (eight runs for 66 metres) but reeled off 31 tackles. 7

12 JOSH CURRAN: Busy on the left edge with nine runs for 85 metres and 35 tackles (six misses). Some real desperation in some of his defensive efforts and super enthusiastic on the kick-chase. 6

16 ELIESA KATOA: Is it possible that signing for the Storm makes you a better player even before you get there? Katoa has been reborn since it was announced he was leaving the Warriors and tonight produced a display light years ahead of anything Nathan Brown got out of him. Especially impressive on defence – his 34 tackles included a number of stinging shots and crucial scrambling efforts – while he stormed through a hole to score his second try in three games…after dotting down once in 27 games under Brown. 8

15 DUNAMIS LUI: Back in first grade for the first time since mid-June and impressed in 31 minutes, with the obvious highlight of his 10 runs for 83 metres an early line-break to set up Walsh’s try. Not bad at all. 6.5


13 BUNTY AFOA: The only Warrior to play every game in 2022, big Bunty was relegated to the bench after initially getting named at lock. Ten runs for over 100 metres and 29 tackles in 51 minutes, but serviceable rather than impactful – unlike this next tyro… 6

17 TOM ALE: Putting his hand up big time for further opportunities. In just 36 minutes of game time, busted out 13 runs for 122 metres and racked up 26 tackles. Really impressive in the face of one of the NRL’s benchmark packs. Pencil him in for the 2023 Storm. 7.5

21 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA: Returning for the first time since Round 14, BMM played 22 minutes and pretty much just tackled – coming up with 17 stops. One run for seven metres. 4

23 TANIELA OTUKOLO: Egan’s withdrawal and in-game injuries afforded the young rake 38 minutes on the field. Looked to get busy from dummy-half – making three darts – and reeled off 23 tackles. No big standout moments but did a decent job. 5.5

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