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A handful of individual positives in a frustating afternoon out in the slop at Mt Smart.

1 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: In his first match as a starting fullback in almost two years, the former New Zealand Test No.1 was close to the Warriors’ best. Some superb plays at the back under the high ball and along the ground in conditions traditionally the stuff of custodians’ nightmares. Led his team’s backs with 130 metres on 15 carries and kick-chase was excellent. 7.5

3 MARCELO MONTOYA: Dreadful early error led to the only points of the first 33 minutes, but was otherwise solid. A couple of great cover tackles and carted the ball up 17 times for 127 metres accompanied by a team-high six tackle-breaks. 6.5

4 ADAM POMPEY: Not a great day out for the only off-contract outside-back at the club, making a limited attacking contribution (11 runs for 87 metres), missing a team-high four tackles (he made 15 stop) and coming up with two errors, a penalty and a ruck infringement. 5.5

17 VILIAME VAILEA: Offered a bit of punch on attack when Johnson went his way in the second half, but not overly involved (10 runs for 82 metres), wasn’t required to do much in defence and came up with one bad handling error later in the game. Certain to drop out with CNK reportedly back next week. 5.5

5 ED KOSI: Pretty sound back on the right flank amid the late reshuffle, without doing anything too notable (good or bad). Some very strong carries among 14 runs for 103 metres. 6

6 DYLAN WALKER: Struggled to settle into his playmaking role in the first half and never really got going in that department, but attempted to help the Warriors get on top with a dogged running game – 17 runs for 118 metres with four tackle-breaks. Good defensively again, too. 7

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: If it was going to happen for the Warriors today, it was destined to centre around Johnson. Outstanding kicking game again (besides one or two minor missteps) to force dropouts, earn repeat sets and consistently keep the Roosters under pressure. Regularly threatened to unlock the visitors’ defence on the edges and was massive on defence again with 23 tackles (one miss), featuring a number of key stops. If there’s one slight critique, it would be that he didn’t mix things up enough on attack – particularly as they were chasing points late. 7.5

12 MARATA NIUKORE: Moved from the edge to prop in a late change and put in a solid 57-minute shift. Was especially impressive in a 34-minute opening stint with over 80 running metres, eventually finishing with 120 metres on 10 runs and racking up 32 tackles. High-quality versatility. 7

9 WAYDE EGAN: Maybe not quite the same dynamic impact as we’ve seen from Egan in his five previous games in 2023, but pretty handy nonetheless. One of his busiest NRL games from a running perspective with nine runs for 83 metres, while the stand-in skipper toiled for a team-high 43 tackles. 7

10 BUNTY AFOA: Under the casualty ward circumstances and the composition of the bench, a bit disappointing to see Bunty only get 38 minutes (28 in his opening stint but only 10 during the second half). Made an OK eight runs for 52 metres, but was a strong presence in defence with 27 stops and no misses. 6.5

11 JACKSON FORD: Played the full 80 in typical action-man style and got through a mountain of work: 16 runs (for 95 metres) and 38 tackles (with seven misses). As on Tuesday, can frustrate when his enthusiasm spills over into ill-discipline territory. Came close to scoring a couple of times. 6.5

13 JOSH CURRAN: Shifted to the edge after being named at lock and had the underwhelming stat-line of seven runs for 33 metres, most of which came steaming onto SJ passes hot on attack – and coming very close to breaking through on multiple occasions. Reeled off 41 tackles in a wholehearted display. 6.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Retrenched to lock and played more than 70 minutes for the second time in five days, producing similar industrious work-rate as he did against the Storm if not the same game-breaking impact. Led all forwards on the field with 20 runs for 175 metres (56 post-contact) and made 31 tackles. 7.5


14 FREDDY LUSSICK: Not used. N/A

15 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Got 25 minutes off the bench in the back-row, chalking up five runs and 16 tackles. 5.5

16 TOM ALE: Put in two stints for 40 minutes of game-time and worked super-hard through the middle in an outpointed pack, with 13 runs for 120 metres and 25 tackles. Well cemented in the 17. 6.5

18 DEMETRIC SIFAKULA: A 19-minute NRL debut from the 19-year-old NSW Cup standout. Racked up 12 tackles but had just one run, which was sullied by a play-the-ball error. Certainly won’t be his last and thoroughly deserved the call-up. 5

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