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Some good, some subpar in this week’s Kingz Container Crew Warriors Player Ratings after a dusty 30-22 win over Wests Tigers in Hamilton.

1 TAINE TUAUIKI: No question this guy is an NRL-quality fullback, looking very much at home in just his second run-on appearance and fourth overall. Some fine clean-up work and a couple of great high-ball takes, nice hands to assist DWZ’s try and 16 runs for 148 metres. Looked a real threat on attack in the first half but drifted out of the contest in that area after the break. 7

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: Another astonishing finish out wide (shout-out to the folks in the crowd with the ‘Dallin’s Corner Dairy’ sign) and led the Warriors’ backs with an impressive 15 runs for 151 metres. On the downside, two errors and a penalty, but another strong showing. 7

3 ROCCO BERRY: Starting to put himself under a bit of scrutiny again after a breakout game against Cronulla and strong follow-up versus Canberra. A paltry five runs for 41 metres and a similarly light ball-carrying output last week. Solid enough in defence, making several good tackles in the first half in particular. 5

4 ADAM POMPEY: Starved of opportunities since switching to the left edge, Pompey relished the chance to combine with Johnson again as he ran a great line to storm over for a try. Busy enough for the second game in a row with 10 runs for 95 metres and no real black marks aside from a ruck infringement. Looked good off the kicking tee, too. 7

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Pretty quiet night but started to play a more prominent role in the second half with some strong carries out of the Warriors’ end when they needed them, finishing with 119 metres on 13 runs. 6.5

6 LUKE METCALF: Started off well by backing up to score his sixth try in 10 games and was a frequent danger when running the ball, racking up 137 metres on nine runs. One of those turned over possession early in the second half, however, while he’s not doing enough of the stuff that will keep Te Maire Martin out of the side: namely, getting the left edge firing, taking good last-tackle options when SJ doesn’t have the ball and defending well. Made terrible decisions in the Tigers’ first and last tries. 5.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Not the obvious best-on-ground performance that steered the Warriors home against the Titans, but there were certainly elements of it. Two wonderful passes to set up tries for Pompey and Fonua-Blake, and helped lay on DWZ’s try. Constantly looking for different ways to unlock the Tigers’ defence and a calm and polished kicked game throughout, plus a crucial penalty goal from a tricky spot. 7.5

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Spent just five of the first 77 minutes on the bench, finally clocking out for the night after steaming over for the match-sealing try – by which stage he’d toiled for a mammoth 26 runs for 262 metres and 27 tackles. An absolute machine. Only criticism you could really make is perhaps his failure to push from the inside allowed Laurie to cut through for Brooks’ try. 8

9 WAYDE EGAN: Didn’t do a great deal of note before departing with a concerning throat injury 23 minutes in, but man did the Warriors miss him thereafter. Arguably the best thing to come out of the night was the news he was sent to hospital as a precaution and looks to be all good. Another game in 2023 Wayde was unable to finish, however, in a reminder we’re probably going to have to carry decent dummy-half cover on the bench. 5

10 MITCH BARNETT: Started with a hiss and a roar, hitting a hole and going on a long run to set up Metcalf for the first try. But dropped the ball on the first carry from the kick-off, then did it again with the Tigers scoring this time and getting on a roll. Big work-rate (16 runs for 151 metres and 27 tackles in 47 minutes) but those errors are hard to ignore. 6

11 JACKSON FORD: The full gamut of high-octane Ford across 80 minutes tonight – 14 runs for 139 metres and a team-high 34 tackles, along with an error, a penalty and having the ball stripped. As he invariably does despite the customary blips, finished on the positive side of the performance ledger. 7

12 MARATA NIUKORE: Consistently bent the line back whether carting it out of the Warriors’ end or threatening the Tigers’ line, finishing with 14 runs for 130 metres in 53 minutes. Good again…have we truly seen the marquee guy the club forked out for yet though? 6.5

13 TOHU HARRIS: Another big captain’s knock, crashing over for a try again after vitally breaking the duck for 2023 last week. Mighty work-rate with 23 runs for 178 metres and 33 tackles, and busy as a ball-player with 20 passes. Two errors and a penalty. 7.5


14 DYLAN WALKER: Just 22 minutes off the pine and looked more off the boil than at any stage of a stellar 2023. Struggled to get anything going on attack and made a disappointing error. Seven runs for 50 metres and 10 tackles in his uncustomarily short stint. 5

15 JAZZ TEVAGA: Second week back and used somewhat sparingly again, but was impactful in 23 minutes with seven runs for 66 metres and 14 tackles – plus a healthy smattering of mongrel. 6.5

16 BAYLEY SIRONEN: Lovely piece of work to put Tohu over, but otherwise the dummy-half service was about as crisp as an apple you didn’t eat on the last day of school and left in your lunchbox for the summer. Made 28 tackles and five runs in 57 minutes deputising for Egan. 6

17 JOSH CURRAN: Played the last 28 minutes of the match and made an important contribution. Six runs for 54 metres and 12 tackles, including a big shot to force a Tigers error. 6.5

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1 reply

  1. AFB! Those stats…are out the gate. Best prop to wear a Kiwi jumper, althou sadly no more, then daylight back to Broadhurst, Sorenson and Todd.

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