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The Warriors’ 11-day, three-match gauntlet against arguably the three best teams in the NRL has garnered three straight losses and sent them hurtling to 11th on the ladder (12th if Parramatta gets up on Sunday)

But all three defeats have been honourable – and plagued by horrifically lopsided officiating, preventing Andrew Webster’s side from potentially building into a position for an upset against Penrith in an 18-6 Magic Round result highlighted by two highly controversial second-half sin-binnings.

Here’s how the Warriors rated individually against the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium.

1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD: Massive from a ball-carrying point of view with 25 runs for 191 metres and was solid at the back for the most part, but had a couple of handling errors. 7

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Handy game back on the right flank, making a line-break and 16 runs for 137 metres while handling the defensive side of things pretty well. 7

3 MARCELO MONTOYA: Mammoth display in his 100th NRL game, running for a team-high 196 metres on 21 carries and defusing a few kicks. Made of granite, clearly. 7.5

4 ADAM POMPEY: One of his hardest-working efforts in first grade, carting the ball up 19 times for 138 metres and recording team-high tallies of 52 post-contact metres and eight tackle-breaks, and producing a line-break assist. Couple of shaky moments on D. 7

5 ED KOSI: Absolutely ironed out Stephen Crichton with one of the hits of the year, but was rubbed out of the game after 31 minutes via HIA. 6

6 DYLAN WALKER: Mixed bag for the utility, having a kick charged down and getting smashed and losing the ball during the first half. Got some back with a bone-rattler on Zack Hosking among 24 tackles, but had a limited impact on attack. The Warriors will be better off for having Walker in his roving back-row role again when Luke Metcalf or Te Maire Martin returrns. 6.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Some rare 2023 missteps from the in-form veteran, but again some amazing play. Ran the ball just three times but made two line-breaks, one of which he followed up with a grubber and tackle on Dylan Edwards to force one of two line dropouts for the match. Huge in defence again with 23 tackles and led the kick-chase superbly all day. 7.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Big, big shift again with 14 runs for 131 metres and 35 tackles in a 67-minute effort. Ran a brilliant line off Harris for the Warriors’ only try. 7.5

18 FREDDY LUSSICK: A surprise starter and reeled off 21 tackles and one strong run in 30 minutes on the park. 6.5

10 BUNTY AFOA: Arguably his strongest display of the season from a ball-running perspective with nine carries for 103 metres in 40 minutes on the park. Also made 26 tackles. 6.5

11 JACKSON FORD: Another hectic and eventful display from the Ford Mustang. Made a first-half line-break among seven charges for 95 metres and made 30 tackles, but was beaten by Dylan Edwards for Penrith’s first try and was binned for a hip drop that will almost certainly see him ruled out for the next week or two. 6

12 MARATA NIUKORE: Played the full 80 and maybe it was just me not paying attention but seemed a very understated performance. Nine runs for 67 metres and 31 tackles. 6.5

13 TOHU HARRIS: Huge ticker just to be back out there again already, let alone play the full 80, lay on the Warriors’ only try with a gorgeous pass, truck the ball up 21 times for 155 metres and rack up a game-high 48 tackles. Amazing captain’s knock. 8.5


9 WAYDE EGAN: Dropped back to the bench in a late change but was highly influential in an hour on the park. Beautiful line-break assist to put Josh Curran away and backed him up to almost score, made 34 tackles and slick as ever at dummy-half. 7

15 JOSH CURRAN: Dynamic off the pine from the cult hero, making one barnstorming line-break and linking nicely back with Egan, while threw a beautfiul ball to put DWZ into space. Eight runs for 74 metres and 32 tackles in 50 minutes in one of his better 2023 showings. 7

16 DEMETRIC SIFAKULA: Made 20 tackles without a miss in a 23-minute second NRL outing, plus four runs for 34 metres but was the victim of one of the most absurb sin-bin rulings in recent memory. Had one memorable charge with a handy offload that unfortunately went to ground. 6

17 TOM ALE: Strong impact with 12 runs for 85 metres in 46 minutes on the paddock, along with 26 tackles. 7


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Categories: Previews + Reviews, WARRIORS NEWS

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1 reply

  1. Crooked bunker, refs, officialdom, they do this year in year out, CHEATS!!…Its like institutional racism, very subtle, but the rotten side always reveals its ugliness. You Aussies should thank us , rather than hinder, up the Warrs you

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