General 2018 Half Season Review

Rate the first half of the season?

  • A+

  • A

  • A-

  • B+

  • B

  • C

  • F-


Results are only viewable after voting.

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
2018 Half Season Review
2018 Quarter review thread: https://www.nzwarriors.com/threads/2018-blueys-round-review.60805/

WARRIORS HALFWAY REPORT: OUTSIDE BACKS
BY WILL EVANS on MAY 31, 2018


The 2018 NRL premiership is at the halfway point and despite a few disappointing recent losses, it’s fair to say the 8-4 Warriors have exceeded expectations – individually and as a team.

TWL is taking the bye-week opportunity to run the rule over all 27 players used by Stephen Kearney so far this season, including comprehensive stats.

First up, the outside backs:

DAVID FUSITUA

‘Fus’ has cemented his status as one of the NRL’s best finishers, equalling his career-best season tally of 12 tries – achieved in 24 games last year – with half a campaign to go. He’s clearly benefitting from playing outside Peta Hiku but his trademark mid-air putdowns and peerless aerial ability (including mad hops) have produced the bulk of his tries.

Scoring four doubles in the first eight rounds, the 23-year-old is the competition’s equal top try-scorer with Josh Addo-Carr.

Fusitua is doing a decent amount of work out his own end and there are few in the game better under the high ball. On the debit side, he is way out in front of his teammates error-wise, ranking fifth-worst in the competition amongst wingers with 14. All in all, though, the rangy flyer has been worth his weight in gold.

Played: 12 Tries: 12 Try Assists: 1 Line-breaks: 10 Tackle-breaks: 15 Offloads: 4 Errors: 14 Penalties Conceded: 1

Averages – Minutes: 80 Runs: 10.5 Running Metres: 97 Tackles: 2.2 Missed Tackles: 0.8

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.6

KEN MAUMALO

Arguably the most improved player in the NRL, undoubtedly the Warriors’ biggest surprise-packet, and one of the team’s most consistent performers.

A frequent liability since debuting in 2015, Big Ken has eliminated the errors from his game and has got his head around the defensive side of the game. Teams still target him but he is growing in confidence positionally and under the high ball week by week.

With the ball he’s been a beast – even reminiscent of ‘The Beast’, Manu Vatuvei. Maumalo ranks sixth in the NRL for running metres and third in the team for tackle-breaks. We’d love to see him on the plane to Denver for a Kiwis debut.

Close to the Warriors’ best on ground in wins over the Cowboys, Tigers and Eels, and currently sitting third in This Warriors Life’s Player of the Year Award standings. A modest tryscoring strike-rate is the only fault we can find.

Big Ken was our tip as the 2017 regular most likely to lose their spot. Now he’s our new favourite player and an integral part of the Warriors’ 2018 charge.

Played: 12 Tries: 3 Try Assists: 0 Line-breaks: 2 Tackle-breaks: 28 Offloads: 5 Errors: 7 Penalties Conceded: 2

Averages – Minutes: 80 Runs: 14.9 Running Metres: 139 Tackles: 2.8 Missed Tackles: 0.8

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.8

PETA HIKU

No player is currently arousing more debate amongst Warriors fans.

Hiku’s silky attacking skills have been a welcome addition at right centre, combining beautifully with Shaun Johnson, Tohu Harris and Fusitua, while he comes in for plenty of dirty work out of the Warriors’ end and ranks fifth in the competition for offloads.

But his defensive frailties have become increasingly frustrating – he sits fifth in the competition for missed tackles with 44, eight more than the next worst centre.

Under pressure from Gerard Beale for a starting centre spot, Hiku’s versatility has been applied in starts at fullback and five-eighth – with mixed results.

Also wore his shorts back to front in one game.

Played: 12 Tries: 2 Try Assists: 3 Line-breaks: 5 Tackle-breaks: 29 Offloads: 24 Errors: 4 Penalties Conceded: 2

Averages – Minutes: 80 Runs: 12.4 Running Metres: 109 Tackles: 13.2 Missed Tackles: 3.7

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.3

SOLOMONE KATA

Vast improvement on a disappointing 2017 campaign. Sol hasn’t quite set the world on fire in attack as he did in 2015-16, but he’s always busy, sits second on the team’s tryscoring list and is averaging a line-break every two games.

It appears he’s worked hard on the defensive side of his game over the summer, boasting the equal-least missed tackles per game of centres that have played more than seven games this season.

There’s plenty of fans that would prefer Kata to make way for Beale and even Anthony Gelling, but ‘Mooks’ knows better than that.

Played: 10 Tries: 4 Try Assists: 2 Line-breaks: 5 Tackle-breaks: 18 Offloads: 4 Errors: 7 Penalties Conceded: 8

Averages – Minutes: 78.3 Runs: 10.8 Running Metres: 95 Tackles: 11.1 Missed Tackles: 0.7

Goalkicking: 0 goals from 1 attempt (0%)

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.7

ANTHONY GELLING

The former Wigan centre began his NRL career with three cameos off the bench, culminating in a late-game shocker in the loss to the Broncos that we went on about for several days.

Gelling nevertheless managed to grab a start the following week with Kata out injury and atoned with an absolute blinder on both sides of the ball, scoring a try, running strongly all night and shutting down Euan Aitken in a stirring win over the previously unbeaten Dragons.

Exposed defensively by the Storm five days later and hasn’t been sighted in first grade since, but nice to know the rangy personality player is there if needed.

The Cameron Smith of rugby league social media.

Played: 5 Tries: 1 Try Assists: 0 Line-breaks: 2 Tackle-breaks: 7 Offloads: 5 Errors: 4 Penalties Conceded: 2

Averages – Minutes: 35.6 Runs: 6.6 Running Metres: 61 Tackles: 5.8 Missed Tackles: 1

TWL Player Rating Average: 4.6

GERARD BEALE

Returned from a broken leg in Round 11 after just one ISP hit-out and has barely put a foot wrong.

Particularly impressive in his comeback match against the Eels, troubling the opposition with his footwork and plugging the gaps left by Hiku on a weekly basis at right centre. Quiet in the big loss to the Rabbitohs.

Whether the 11-Test utility-back can forge a permanent spot at centre – given the back-three are entrenched – is the question on everyone’s lips. Beale could potentially find himself in a bench role as the season wears on, as he did during Cronulla’s 2016 premiership year.

Played: 2 Tries: 0 Try Assists: 0 Line-breaks: 1 Tackle-breaks: 5 Offloads: 2 Errors: 0 Penalties Conceded: 2

Averages – Minutes: 80 Runs: 10 Running Metres: 70 Tackles: 10 Missed Tackles: 1.5

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.75

https://thiswarriorslife.com/2018/05/31/warriors-halfway-report-outside-backs/
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
17,726
Major Flaw with that Review is Kata's flaws do not mention his most obvious deficit...Pass? and so it follows that the connection to Kens "Modest" try scoring record is missed entirely.

If you are going to talk about Fus benefiting from Hiku's service as a main point opening paragraphs..then you can't not use that in discussing all Centers rated thereafter.

The Stats are relatively good, but they don't tell the story in total.

Excuse the moan in this league starved Media space any attempt at giving the readership some fat to chew is better than none...and its a bit unfair to expect every Journalist to have a depth of scrutiny of the Warriors that you might read from some of the posters here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: smc

Inruin

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
May 19, 2012
8,554
Auckland
Major Flaw with that Review is Kata's flaws do not mention his most obvious deficit...Pass? and so it follows that the connection to Kens "Modest" try scoring record is missed entirely.

If you are going to talk about Fus benefiting from Hiku's service as a main point opening paragraphs..then you can't not use that in discussing all Centers rated thereafter.

The Stats are relatively good, but they don't tell the story in total.

Excuse the moan in this league starved Media space any attempt at giving the readership some fat to chew is better than none...and its a bit unfair to expect every Journalist to have a depth of scrutiny of the Warriors that you might read from some of the posters here.
And yet Hiku only has one try assist more than Kata. I think that Fus had benefited from a side that has had for the most part, Tohu and SJ carving up and providing space. The left side has done well considering who is playing inside them - good solid players but they don't provide the same threat the right side does.
 

Viking

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 12, 2012
1,822
And yet Hiku only has one try assist more than Kata. I think that Fus had benefited from a side that has had for the most part, Tohu and SJ carving up and providing space. The left side has done well considering who is playing inside them - good solid players but they don't provide the same threat the right side does.
Hiku has put Fus in for more than 3 trys surely? It would depend on what the criteria is to differentiate between a pass and an actual try assist. Both of Kata's came in the one game where he actually passed to Ken.
 

Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
17,726
And yet Hiku only has one try assist more than Kata. I think that Fus had benefited from a side that has had for the most part, Tohu and SJ carving up and providing space. The left side has done well considering who is playing inside them - good solid players but they don't provide the same threat the right side does.
Yeah I noticed the Try assist Stat is...you might as well say the same....and I agree about the right side combinations of players....the set move they favor...and a natural bias toward playing to the open side.

My take on it is that Hiku holds onto the ball more frequently than he should....which in some ways is more criminal than Sols greed....given the talent Hiku has running outside of him.

An annoying habit of Hiku is when he does a late flick pass when the numbers were in his favor....instead of drawing then passing before the line....just a conventional pass will do ta.

If you weigh it up fairly Sol is the Center with the most promise of the lot, he only need pass the bloody ball once in a game and his critics would fall largely silent.

Ifs buts and maybes....oh were Hiku to hit and stick....he'd be the best of the lot.

One thing that was noticeable before we lost Pulu....that left edge was showing glimpses of being functional...and during that time where runners were hitting holes....and the timing of Roger chiming in...really lifted Sols game....he caught a bomb and simultaneously offloaded to set up a try....fmd he passed to Ken...and we saw that power over four roosters try.

I should have mentioned Adam Blair was part of that as a ball player....so far out man when you look at what we now know (in hindsight) it's interesting to compare the left set up to that right.

The ball gets shifted from Green to Ken's Wing handled by some serious talent:

1. Green
2. RTS
3. Blair
4. Pulu
5. Kata
6. Ken

Lastly the other thing missing from the season review is where trys are being score ( you can infer this as much as a static veiw of left and right players...however that isnt accurate...and it doesn't have a middle....unlike @mt.wellingtons table he made to reflect just that...yet again more evidence that if you want to spot trains dont read the papers...come here lol.

Long post short Kata was adding new strings to his bow before we lost Pulu.
 

WellingtonOrca

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 14, 2012
1,487
totalfooty stats only has the first 10 rounds up, but lists 2 TAs each for Kata and Hiku - Kata's 1st in round 1 wasn't a direct pass for a try, they must have counted his kick-catch then offload to blair who tipped it onto Papalii. Peta's first is rd 2 vs titans were be makes a line break then passes to Fus.

Both have 1 rd 5 vs Cowboys. Kata first with a line break then pass to Ken and Hiku with the out the back one handed flick to Fus.

They don't seem to credit it as a TA if it's a simple catch and pass, you've got to do something to create the try - which is why Kata got the TA in rd1 over blair, and why Peta didn't get any for the Anzac Melbourne game where 2 of Fus' tries came from simple passes from Peta.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sup42

Juno

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 2, 2018
256
Lol, it doesn't seem something someone would do accidentally. I remember RTS saying that they learned some things from Kieran Reid other than the 'breathing circle' that he wasn't forthcoming about, plus I remember seeing a video in early season with Harris saying Hiku needs more work on his second attempt tackles - maybe it's an in-house 'penance'. I used to wonder why some guys turned ou with dyed yellow=blonde hair on occasion & found out it was a penance for something they'd done in the previous game or during practice. May be way off base...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Worried2Death

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,511
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Part 2 looks at our spine players...

WARRIORS HALFWAY REPORT: THE SPINE
BY WILL EVANS on JUNE 3, 2018


The 2018 NRL premiership is at the halfway point and despite a few disappointing recent losses, it’s fair to say the 8-4 Warriors have exceeded expectations – individually and as a team.

TWL is taking the bye-week opportunity to run the rule over all 27 players used by Stephen Kearney so far this season, including comprehensive stats.

Next up we unpick the performances of ‘the spine’ – the fullbacks, halves and hookers:

ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK

The Warriors’ best throughout the first half of 2018, among the top half-dozen players in the NRL this year, and going toe-to-toe with Kalyn Ponga for Dally M Fullback of the Year honours.

In reality, RTS isn’t doing too much different to last season, when he carried off the club’s Player of the Year gong. But the team’s vast improvement across the board means he is predominantly getting the ball on the front foot and in attacking situations, rather than endlessly digging the side out of trouble off his own goal-line.

He hasn’t scored less than a 6.5 in TWL’s player ratings and is routinely among the best afield in bad losses.

The skipper is eighth in the NRL for average run metres (second amongst fullbacks), 13th in the competition for tackle-breaks, and already has six try assists after notching a total of eight in 2017.

Tuivasa-Sheck’s positional play and clean-up work at the back has been first-rate, while he has pulled off a handful of contenders for try-saver of the year and is the second-least error-prone fullback in the NRL.

Perhaps most importantly, though, he has developed into an outstanding leader. Roger grappled with the captaincy admirably in difficult circumstances last year, but the 24-year-old’s confidence in the role has skyrocketed and he’s relishing it in 2018. Should be named the Kiwis’ new skipper in coming weeks and Dally M Captain of the Year if the Warriors make the eight.

Played: 11 Tries: 1 Try Assists: 6 Line-breaks: 7 Tackle-breaks: 41 Offloads: 19 Errors: 8 Penalties Conceded: 1

Averages – Minutes: 78.5 Runs: 15.3 Running Metres: 148 Tackles: 2.7 Missed Tackles: 1.1

TWL Player Rating Average: 7.7


BLAKE GREEN

A leading contender for the NRL’s unofficial ‘buy of the year’ crown for the second season in a row after arriving from Manly.

The level-headed playmaker the Warriors have been desperately seeking, Green steers the team around with a minimum of fuss and controls the tempo superbly, boasting a top-shelf all-round kicking game and excellent ball-playing instincts.

The veteran is the perfect halves foil for Shaun Johnson, though they have only paired up six times (for five wins) so far.

After a magnificent start to the year that catapulted his name into early NSW Origin conversations, Green has increasingly struggled during Johnson’s ongoing absence; he’ll benefit from the No.7’s return with less pressure to provide the spark and create scoring opportunities.

Played: 12 Tries: 1 Try Assists: 5 Line-breaks: 0 Tackle-breaks: 3 Offloads: 3 Errors: 9 Penalties Conceded: 7

Averages – Minutes: 79.1 Runs: 2 Running Metres: 16 Tackles: 15.8 Missed Tackles: 2.3

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.8

SHAUN JOHNSON

The halfback wizard has been brilliant when on the paddock in 2018 but he has only played half of the Warriors’ games so far, making it difficult to judge whether he has truly shed his inconsistent traits.

But there’s no doubt his six outings in the opening nine rounds represented by far his best start to an NRL campaign.

Two line-breaks and a mesmerising assist for David Fusitua in the crucial Round 1 win over Souths set the tone, while he papered over a largely ineffective performance in Canberra in Round 3 by singlehandedly stealing a win with two late field goals.

Johnson was close to the Warriors’ best in victories over the Cowboys and Tigers, with the loss to the Broncos – in which he still managed a brilliant assist and a solo try – his only outing that would be described as subpar. His defence has also improved markedly.

The last few weeks have emphasised Johnson’s importance to this Warriors side’s 2018 prospects; hopefully his looming return against Manly in Round 14 is a permanent one.

Played: 6 Tries: 2 Try Assists: 6 Line-breaks: 4 Tackle-breaks: 22 Offloads: 4 Errors: 5 Penalties Conceded: 3

Averages – Minutes: 78.5 Runs: 5.2 Running Metres: 48 Tackles: 14.3 Missed Tackles: 1.8

Goalkicking: 20 goals from 28 attempts (71%)

TWL Player Rating Average: 7.4

ISSAC LUKE

This is the form the Warriors and their fans envisaged when the club lured him back home at the end of 2015.

Two ordinary seasons – culminating in his axing from the New Zealand Test team – now seem like a lifetime ago after some of the most consistent and dynamic football of Luke’s long career.

Super-fit, enthusiastic and confident, Luke menaced teams out of dummy-half in the opening seven rounds and led the way in defence. Recently celebrating his 31st birthday, Luke is second behind Damien Cook for running metres amongst the NRL’s No.9s.

His performance in the momentous win over St George Illawarra – capped by a 40-20 and a vital try in the space of a minute – was one of his best ever and attracted TWL’s only 9 rating so far.

The effect of Luke absences, for most of the game against Melbourne and the entire loss to the Roosters, have been glaring. Meanwhile, despite obvious knee and shoulder problems, he carried a team missing RTS and Johnson to victory against Parramatta.

On the downside he is the second-most penalised player in the league, but Luke is rivalling Roger as the Warriors’ best across the first half of the campaign.

Played: 11 Tries: 3 Try Assists: 0 Line-breaks: 4 Tackle-breaks: 19 Offloads: 15 Errors: 9 Penalties Conceded: 17

Averages – Minutes: 69.4 Runs: 7.4 Running Metres: 70 Tackles: 25.8 Missed Tackles: 2.4

Goalkicking: 1 from 2 attempts (50%)

TWL Player Rating Average: 7.2

MASON LINO

Having a back-up half of Lino’s quality is a luxury few other clubs can boast. And after filling in for some flatlining Warriors teams in previous seasons, seeing the 24-year-old play – and star – in a winning first-grade side has been one of 2018’s feelgood stories.

Absolutely outstanding in his first two outings against the Roosters and Dragons, Lino scored the Warriors’ first try in both boilovers – including a sizzling solo effort in the latter.

A debate erupted amongst pundits and fans over whether the Warriors were better off with Lino instead of the enigmatic Johnson in the No.7, but Lino’s subsequent mixed performances have put that argument to bed.

The lower-grade stalwart was exposed defensively by the Storm (though he did bounce back with two superb try assists) and averages the most missed tackles of any player in the NRL, while he struggled in the heavy loss to the Roosters and was hot and cold in the win over the Eels.

Still, an extremely valuable squad member and should be in the sights of NRL clubs less flush with blue-chip halves.

Played: 5 Tries: 2 Try Assists: 6 Line-breaks: 2 Tackle-breaks: 6 Offloads: 2 Errors: 7 Penalties Conceded: 5

Averages – Minutes: 78 Runs: 5 Running Metres: 37 Tackles: 17.2 Missed Tackles: 4.2

Goalkicking: 14 goals from 18 attempts (78%)

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.9

KARL LAWTON

Only joining the club on the eve of the premiership, former Gold Coast utility Lawton has made the most of his top-grade chances so far.

The 22-year-old, who suffered a shocking broken leg on NRL debut for the Titans at Mount Smart Stadium in 2016, enjoyed a dream dummy-half introduction with the Warriors at the same ground courtesy of two late, match-sealing try off the bench against the Tigers in Round 9.

He was kept quiet in a badly beaten side after starting at hooker against the Roosters but made a real impact from the pine in a similar defeat to the Rabbitohs in Round 12. Rock-solid in defence, not missing a single tackle in nearly 100 minutes in first grade this year.

Jazz Tevaga’s ability to plug the gap at hooker if needed may mean there’s no room on the bench for Lawton in a full-strength Warriors side, but his superior work at dummy-half, genuine spark and ability to also play at centre or in the halves make him an attractive proposition for Kearney.

Played: 3 Tries: 2 Try Assists: 0 Line-breaks: 2 Tackle-breaks: 11 Offloads: 1 Errors: 1 Penalties Conceded: 2

Averages – Minutes: 32.7 Runs: 5 Running Metres: 48 Tackles: 19 Missed Tackles: 0

TWL Player Rating Average: 6.5

https://thiswarriorslife.com/2018/06/03/warriors-halfway-report-the-spine/
 

Last Game

27 Sep

40 - 28
6.5 Total Avg Rating
0.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 19 ratings