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Some big performances and some mixed bags amid the drama and casualties of the Warriors’ gallant 30-22 loss to the Storm at AAMI Park.

1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD: Played like he can’t wait to keep wearing the No.1 while RTS plays centre in 2024 and beyond, before an HIA ended his night in the 56th minute in a crucial blow. Brilliant hands for DWZ’s first try and had a great touch in his second, while made 16 tough runs for 126 metres and was a tower of strength at the back. Will be sorely missed on Sunday. 7.5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Far more positives to draw upon than his dusty return against the Cowboys, but a couple of rash and ill-conceived defensive decisions contributed heavily to the Storm’s first try of each half. On the plus side, blazed in for a double and led the Warriors’ backs with 144 metres on 15 carries – including some trademark fearless charges out of trouble – and the team with eight tackle-breaks, while went pretty well in tough circumstances at fullback following Charnze’s exit. 6.5

3 MARCELO MONTOYA: Consistently stepped up to take difficult runs and finished with 16 carries for 110 metres, popped a couple of offloads and held down the left edge pretty well. Gave away a penalty and a ruck infringement. 6.5

4 ADAM POMPEY: Anonymous for long periods of the game and had his hands full with wrecking ball Justin Olam, but Pompey produced one of his less enigmatic displays. Strong on the carry – especially down the stretch – with 116 metres from 11 runs, while put Dallin in for his second and went mistake- and penalty-free. 6.5

5 ED KOSI: An incident-free night was always going to be something of a personal triumph for the tyro winger after last year’s horrorshow in Melbourne. But Big Ed was better than that in a game fought on a knife’s edge where good opportunities didn’t really come his way. Defused a few dicey situations at the back and took some very, very tough carries to finish with 130 metres on 15 runs. Faultless. 7.5

6 DYLAN WALKER: Superb playmaking to send Ford over the first try and created very well whenever the Warriors had a chance. Ran considerably more than last week (11 runs for 68 metres) and was again a big presence in defence. A very harsh sin-binning will not be penalised in this week’s ratings. 7.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: About the only real knock you could conceivably come up with on SJ’s performance (besides a pair of questionable penalties) was that he didn’t produce one more big play to get his team home for a famous win. Kick-started three of the Warriors’ four tryscoring movements, kicked beautifully whether under pressure or on the front foot, and came up with 20 tackles with no misses. The best individual renaissance of 2023 continues. 8.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: That’s our $800k prop. A colossal performance that ranks alongside any AFB has put out in a Warriors jersey, racking up a team-high 177 metres on 20 carries with seven tackle-breaks – a few of them occurring when he jinked and powered through for a memorable first-half try – and 42 tackles in a 71-minute barnstormer that would have to rank near career-highs in those last two stat categories. 8.5

9 FREDDY LUSSICK: Played the full 80 in a massive effort and definitely his best NRL performance to date. Reeled off an enormous 53 tackles – including many very crucial stops – and channelled the sidelined Egan with some adept penalty-garnering dummy-half running and a forced dropout with an excellent ad hoc grubber. 7.5

10 JAZZ TEVAGA: Big part of the early surge with an energetic-but-brief 15-minute opening stint, before a worrying lower leg injury cut his second-half foray to just nine minutes. Productive while on the park with seven runs for 59 metres and 11 tackles. 6

11 JACKSON FORD: Better than the basic stats (10 runs for 66 metres and 34 tackles with nine misses) made it look. Great charge to score the first try and was a regular threat on the left edge, while he terrorised Jahrome Huhges with some harrassing defence as well as his fearsome ball-running. Had an error, a penalty and a last-tackle ruck infringement near the Warriors’ line in the second half but saw out the 80 minutes. 7.5

12 MARATA NIUKORE: Outstanding return from a harsh suspension. Played every minute and showed a big engine on both sides of the ball with 134 metres from 14 runs and 34 tackles. A penalty and an error but finished well on the positive side of the ledger. Such a presence and and helped plug the backline gap later on with aplomb. 8

13 TOHU HARRIS: Excruciating deja vu to watch the skipper – at an almost identical part of the game as against the Bulldogs in Round 4 – succumb to a recurrence of the MCL injury. Wonderful to that point with eight runs, 17 tackles and a crucial hand in the first try, but a chunky absence is now anticipated in what would be a huge blow to a squad already short on troops. 6.5


14 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Only lasted 18 second-half minutes before going off with a head knock. Made 21 tackles in that time but some of his four misses were bad ones and he had zero runs. 5

15 JOSH CURRAN: Injected surprisingly late and only got 25 minutes of game-time in a severely depleted team. Made two strong runs and 16 tackles, but certainly not one for the scrapbook – for reasons partly out of his control. 5.5

16 BUNTY AFOA: There’s the Bunty we know and love. Under scrutiny for much of the year, the stalwart smashed a whole bunch of season highs with 55 minutes, 12 runs for 114 metres (46 post-contact), three passes and a eye-popping 47 tackles. Genuine quality and hopefully a turning point. 8

17 TOM ALE: Bounced back well from an early error after being sent on, cramming 11 runs for 87 metres and 18 tackles without a miss in 39 minutes on the paddock. A bit test and he passed it well. 6.5

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