NRL 3 years ago

Warriors Round 8 player ratings

  • Warriors Round 8 player ratings

The tight 32-28 scoreline in favour of the visiting Gold Coast Titans did not even come close to reflecting the incompetent, listless and embarrassing second half performance that cost the New Zealand Warriors victory at Mt Smart Stadium in the first match of the NRL’s Anzac Day marathon. Ahead 18-12 at the end of a seesawing first half, the Warriors’ ensuing 30 minutes was as bad as anything seen from the erratic outfit on their home track in the last decade. A lack of commitment, urgency and organisation in defence, and a complete absence of imagination or execution in attack allowed the Titans to race to a 32-18 lead with four unanswered tries. A late rally almost stole a miracle comeback for the Warriors, but it would have been a most undeserving two points if they had pulled it off. Back to the drawing board for Andrew McFadden, who will come under increasing pressure to put the broom through his misfiring line-up.


1.Tuimoala Lolohea: A couple of good touches and came up with the cover-tackle of the year so far on a runaway David Mead, but made just six runs for 81 metres. A great talent, but his timing coming into the backline is horrible. The Warriors need Sam Tomkins back badly. 6.5

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2.Jonathan Wright: Backed up to score his second try in as many weeks and made 84 metres from nine runs, but blotted a steady performance with a bad knock-on in front of his posts during the second half. 6.5

3.David Fusitua: Enjoyed a dream return to first grade with a barnstorming early try but did little else, finishing with a meagre 55 metres from seven runs before being stretchered off in a neck brace with nine minutes to go. 6

4.Solomone Kata: Beat plenty of defenders and dotted down for a late try but notched just 50 metres from six runs and is still struggling to find Manu Vatuvei with the pass. Schooled by James Roberts defensively. 5.5

5.Manu Vatuvei: A couple of early errors appeared to signal a dismal day at the office for ‘The Beast’, but he recovered to rack up 131 metres from 12 carries and came off his wing to make nine tackles. Came up with a bat back for Kata to score. 6.5

6.Chad Townsend: Needs to spend less time making his head look like a potato-top pie and more time working on his passing and kicking execution. Woke up with 10 minutes to go to put the kick up for Kata’s try and make a few handy runs, but it was far too late. 5

7.Shaun Johnson: Dreadful. Sent Fuistua over early and Thompson in late with deft passes and made a searing line-break (after which he lost the ball), but otherwise looked tired and uninspired. When he wasn’t lazily handing the ball off to his supports, his passes out the back were going to ground or deflecting off decoy runners. Bad signs ahead of the Anzac Test. 5

8.Jacob Lillyman: Made 13 tackles and nine runs for 73 metres but was easily the Warriors’ least impressive front-rower. 5.5

9.Thomas Leuluai: Ran for 70 metres in five carries and made 19 tackles despite coming off dazed during the first half. Solid enough. 6

10.Ben Matulino: Outstanding again, racking up 26 tackles and a team-high 19 runs and 153 metres, while also scoring a try and producing three offloads. 8

11.Bodene Thompson: Extremely busy in attack after barely contributing last week, running the ball 17 times for 127 metres and being rewarded with his first try for the club in the dying stages. 7

12.Ryan Hoffman: Produced stats of nine runs for 70 metres but just seven tackles before being knocked out early in the second stanza. 6

13.Simon Mannering: Led the tackle count yet again with 33 and made 11 runs for 82 metres in another workhorse display, but the lack of character and backbone in this side at present doesn’t reflect well on his leadership. 6.5


14.Nathan Friend: Brilliantly set up Wright’s try with a dummy-half break and threatened constantly, making 71 metres from eight runs after receiving more time than he has been accustomed to this season. Must be edging close to a start in the No.9. 7

15.Raymond Faitala-Mariner: Came on for Hoffman and chalked up 13 tackles and 31 metres from three runs. A likely looking prospect. 6

16.Sam Lisone: Numbers of 15 tackles and 11 runs for 86 metres don’t tell the full story of his impact, breaking countless tackles with his raw power and determination. Can hold his head up despite the team’s dismal collective display. 7

17.Sam Rapira: Great comeback to first grade by the veteran, making 15 tackles and 11 rollicking runs for 93 metres off the bench in his maiden NRL appearance of the season. Showed he can still play a big role in the Warriors’ season, despite the claims of Albert Vete and Suaia Matagi for a spot in the 17. 7.5

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