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The Warriors have clinched their first top-four finish in 16 years and are now on a seven-match winning streak. Now let’s never speak of this game again and hope for a pre-finals clinic against the Dolphins in eight days’ time.

Here’s your Kingz Container Crew player ratings from arguably the patchiest display yet – albeit defensively sound – in a patchy run of form against also-ran opponents, belatedly subduing a battered, sloppy, but dogged St George Illawarra Dragons outfit 18-6.

1 CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD: Surely a lock for the six Dally M votes unless Blake Lawrie nabs one or two off him. Comfortably the best in a Warriors jersey, scoring a slick try, producing a big one-on-one strip and a line-break assist, running for 203 metres on 20 carries, and chalking up a game-high nine tackle-breaks. Rock-solid at the back, too. 8.5

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK: None of the highlight-reel moments that have become routine for DWZ with the Saints compressing effectively on the Warriors’ right-side attack. Made a bit of a hash of the opening kick-off that almost produced a Dragons try, coughed up the high ball that gifted them their only try and conceded a penalty. Made 105 metres from 13 runs and 10 tackles, including a couple of well-timed jams. 6

3 ROCCO BERRY: Only lasted 32 minutes, during which time he made a line-break but spoiled it by getting bundled into touch. Very solid in defence and keen to carry the footy. Could have come back on according to the coach but was kept off as a precaution. 5

4 ADAM POMPEY: Classy opening try, some very strong carries among 10 runs for 106 metres and went pretty well without the ball as the left edge got its act together. 6.5

5 MARCELO MONTOYA: Much more like the Marcelo we know and love, leading the three-quarter line with 18 runs for 167 metres with five tackle-breaks – including sending a couple of Saints hurtling turf-ward. Just as importantly, error-free and no defensive lapses in what could have been a tough assignment opposite Ravalawa. Frustrating he ignored an overlap on the halftime siren and died with pill. 7

6 LUKE METCALF: Fingers crossed, but his sideline reaction to his hammy pull didn’t look promising. Whether Te Maire Martin was set to come back in or not, the loss of Metcalf’s depth could be crucial. Reasonable game until his 42nd-minute exit, serving up a lovely pass for Pompey’s try and making a few threatening runs – though made six tackles and missed four. 5.5

7 SHAUN JOHNSON: Not bad but below his 2023 baseline, with a few kicks missing the mark, a handling error and a penalty conceded, and just seeming a bit out of rhythm on attack with the rushing Dragons defence cutting down his time. On the plus side, try assists for CNK’s and AFB’s four-pointers, steered the team around well and excellent defensively (18 tackles, no misses) in his 250th NRL game. 7

8 ADDIN FONUA-BLAKE: Just put the ball down, bro. A shame he bombed that try for a few reasons: he ran a great line to get there, it could have broken the Saints’ backs and triggered a landslide, and it – along with another straightforward dropped ball – tainted another dominant display in the middle of the park. Massive work-rate in 70-minute shift, making a game-high 216 metres (94 post-contact) on 20 runs and showed plenty of hustle in defence with 28 stops, as well as following through to dot down for the fortuitous sealer. 7.5

9 WAYDE EGAN: A bit of a mixed bag, running the ball astutely (nine runs for 70 metres) and drawing a couple of penalties, while he toiled for 39 tackles and gave typically sound dummy-half service. Poor miss on Moses Suli in the opening seconds of the second half, though, and gave away a stripping penalty at an inopportune time. 6.5

10 BUNTY AFOA: Much more game-time than usual, playing 40 minutes across two stints. Made the most of it with 10 runs for 80 metres and soaked up plenty of heat defensively with 30 tackles and no misses. Gave away two penalties. 6.5

11 JOSH CURRAN: Thrived in the second-row during the first half aside from giving away a penalty, then played the last 48 minutes in Berry’s centre spot and did a solid job there. Racked up 11 runs for 96 metres and 34 tackles. 7

12 MARATA NIUKORE: Pounded the Dragons’ left-side defence throughout the first half running off SJ and looked like he was away at one stage but coughed it up. Quiet thereafter, despite finishing with solid numbers of 12 runs for 107 metres along with 28 tackles in 67 minutes.

13 TOHU HARRIS: Typical captain’s knock in his 100th game for the club (two penalties notwithstanding). Mighty work-rate – 18 runs for 179 metres and a team-high 42 tackles – and was particularly prominent on attack during the first half, while he clocked up 22 passes. 7.5


14 DYLAN WALKER: One of the Warriors’ more effective attacking players in the second half and consistently tested the Saints with 13 runs for 129 metres, while he also produced a lovely ball for what should have been an AFB try and made 18 tackles in 57 minutes. Slotted in well on the left after Metcalf limped off. 7

15 JACKSON FORD: Relegated to the bench for the first time this season but eventually played 49 minutes in his usual left edge spot. Finished with 90 metres from eight runs and racked up seven tackle-breaks thanks to a couple of pinballing charges, plus 20 tackles. Also made a handling error and gave away his customary brace of penalties. 6

16 BAYLEY SIRONEN: A busy bee in defence with 24 tackles in just 31 minutes and made four runs. Nothing flashy but did his job. 6

17 FREDDY LUSSICK: Came on for the last 14 minutes as a back-rower and rolled up his sleeves with five runs for 50 metres, but a sloppy play-the-ball deep inside his own half with the score 10-6 inside the last 10 minutes was not ideal. 5

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