NRL 3 years ago

Warriors Player Ratings Round 2

  • Warriors Player Ratings Round 2

It was far from perfect, but the Warriors have two points on the board after Round 2 for the first time since 2012, overcoming a spirited Canberra outfit 18-6 with a gritty 80-minute performance at GIO Stadium. Locked 6-all after a thrilling opening half, the Warriors raced to a 12-point lead with back-to-back tries in the first four minutes of the second stanza – and that’s where the score remained as the visitors countered an erratic display in attack with outstanding commitment in defence.

 

1.Sam Tomkins: Brilliant comeback from the diminutive Brit. Ran for 171 metres from 16 carries and made two line-breaks – including his first in the NRL from a kick-return, which had been his Super League trademark. Chimed into the backline superbly to throw the last pass for the Warriors’ first two tries. 8

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2.Jonathan Wright: Diabolical in the first half, making two handling errors and getting outjumped by Sisa Waqa for the Raiders’ try to make Warriors fans wonder what they’d done to deserve the journeyman recruit after two years of suffering through Dane Nielsen’s presence. To his credit, Wright bounced back with a mistake-free second half to finish with 132 metres from 15 runs, including a number of strong charges from inside the Warriors’ half. 6

 

3.Tuimoala Lolohea: Admitted to never having played in the centres at any level before and it showed, struggling to get his timing right in attack. High involvement though, and contained Raiders danger-man Jarrod Croker well as he racked up 17 tackles. 6.5

 

4.Solomone Kata: The nugget is living up to the hype so far, grabbing a try and showing off his fend to dot down again before having his second touchdown denied by the video ref in his first appearance at centre. Powerful with the ball in hand and looks comfortable at NRL level after just 160 minutes. 7

 

5.Manu Vatuvei: Magnificent from ‘The Beast’. Made a trademark 156 metres from 16 runs, finished off a try and made another line break. Handled the customary aerial barrage with aplomb and defended superbly. 8

 

6.Chad Townsend: Another mixed bag ranging from brilliant to baffling. Cancelled out a sizzling line break, a kick try-assist and a 20-tackle contribution by kicking out on the full, coming up with several poor options and giving away a dumb penalty late in the match. 5.5

 

7.Shaun Johnson: Still very rusty, but a vast improvement on Round 1. Struggling for his usual crispness in attack, trying to throw passes in traffic and running the ball on the last on several occasions when a kick would have been the smart play. Ran the ball sparingly, but made an impact when he did, while he battled on gamely with an arm injury. 6

 

8.Jacob Lillyman: Again afforded limited game-time but made them count, racking up 10 hit-ups and 16 tackles in 26 minutes. A couple of handing errors blotted his performance, however. 6

 

9.Thomas Leuluai: Ran strongly, tackled wholeheartedly and offered zip around the rucks. Was pinged for one forward pass but probably threw about 10. Improvement needed, or at least a more even share of the role with Nathan Friend. 6

 

10.Ben Matulino: Big Ben was a man on a mission, chalking up a game-high 177 metres from 19 runs and making 23 tackles. Popped a few great balls but appeared a bit offload-happy at times, coming up with a couple of errors. 7.5

 

11.Bodene Thompson: Limited impact with the ball, which might have had something to do with his monster contribution of 41 tackles. Thompson is making a fine fist of his Auckland sea change. 7

 

12.Ryan Hoffman: Such a workhorse. Hoffman is already proving a magnificent acquisition, running the 21 times for 157 metres against the Raiders and climbing spectacularly to pluck a Townsend kick from Jack Wighton’s clutches for the Warriors’ third try. It’s hard to see Hoffman not winning the Warriors’ Player of the Year award even at this early stage. 8

 

13.Simon Mannering: Speaking of workhorses, Mannering made 54 tackles to go with 12 runs for 97 metres. What an effort from the non-stop captain. 7.5

 

INTERCHANGE

 

14.Nathan Friend: Solid during 25 minutes on the field, making 16 tackles and three dummy-half runs. 6

 

15.Ben Henry: Playing in his preferred backrow role, Henry lifted the Warriors’ energy as soon as he entered the fray, making 20 tackles and four runs in 29 minutes. 6.5

 

16.Sam Lisone: Outstanding again from the boom front-rower, constantly bending the line back and proving a handful for the defence with 111 metres from 12 runs. Seems only a matter of time before he tears a team apart in Andrew Fifita-like fashion. 7.5

 

17.Albert Vete: Not as eye-catching as his explosive debut, but still excellent with nine hit-ups in 26 minutes. Difficult to see Sam Rapira and Suaia Matagi forcing their way past Lisone and Vete back into the 17 at this stage. 7

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