General 2020 Warriors Review



Rugby League: Chris Rattue - Complete NZ Warriors ratings after NRL season unlike any other

How did the Warriors rate this year and - just as importantly - how will incoming coach Nathan Brown rate them? Chris Rattue attempts to answer both questions with the club's NRL season officially over.

Tohu Harris 9.5
I received a stern rebuke from the veteran league caller Allen McLaughlin, after nominating Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as the undisputed player of the year in a previous column.

In an email which burned a hole in my screen, "Mac" said Harris was head and shoulders above the rest.

I still think Roger Tuivasa-Sheck deserves the title (see below), but second rower Harris was sensational including as a middle forward.

Harris probably deserves a 10 out of 10 for the way he led from the front. A few offloads would make him an even better player, though.

Harris might actually win the Simon Mannering Medal. For me, it would still be the next man on the list.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 9.5
To play the way he did, while shouldering the captaincy responsibility in such trying circumstances, was amazing.

The club was in potential disarray after a typically erratic and poor start and the sacking of Steve Kearney.

Tuivasa-Sheck has always led from the front in an unassuming way. Having a humble captain of the highest integrity isn't a bad place to start when seeking a turnaround in tough circumstances.

His attacking zest was actually missing for a part of the year, hindered partly because he had to do too much donkey work.

Then the real Roger Tuivasa-Sheck emerged, the lethal attacking force with a great step. Apart from Storm maestro Cameron Smith, there is no single player more important to his NRL club than Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Eliesa Katoa 9
This rating is out of whack. It's based heavily on the fact that Katoa has made extraordinary strides in a very short time, has clearly showed a tremendous attitude off the field, is among the most exciting forward prospects the club has ever had, and represents a brilliant piece of scouting (recruitment bloke Peter O'Sullivan probably gets the credit).

And he was also very good.

The big question will be around his work rate and stamina in the new, all-action game. Get ready for a tough off-season under Nathan Brown big fella.

Peta Hiku 8
There's always a fear the old Hiku will keep popping up, like the one which dropped a bomb and missed a big tackle in the final-round win over the Sea Eagles.

Yes, he was playing out of his position, returning to fullback in place of the injured Tuivasa-Sheck. But he doesn't always seem fully engaged when the Warriors don't have the ball.

Which is being incredibly uncharitable considering what he did do this year.

Hiku's gifts on attack from centre can be stunning, as they often were in 2020.

He glides outside his marker, and sets up his right wing with an array of beautifully timed and delivered passes.

He did it time and time again, and scored a fair few of his own, providing a one-man highlights reel for the year.

The way Hiku clicks with new coach Brown is going to be a telling factor in 2021. I still get the feeling his career could go either way though.

Kodi Nikorima 8
Started the year behind Chanel Harris-Tavita, whose kicking game was preferred by Kearney.

But after the game opened up, when the NRL brought back one referee and introduced the six again rule, it was Nikorima's time to flourish.

And he often did, in the Warriors' best moments, although without yet reaching the status of a sure bet. Given the changes to the game, his controversial signing last year is a potential masterstroke.

But as all and sundry have said, he needs to have more faith in his running instincts.

Coach Brown loves the little guys.

Blake Green 8
Pivotal to a lot of the best moments and the way owner Mark Robinson disrespected Green publicly still rankles (with this punter, at least). Any employee deserves better than that.

In 26 years of watching the Warriors, I believe Green is the best they've ever had at understanding how to relentlessly drive the game plan and unravel an opponent.

Not that he has a lot to beat over those 26 years.

Departed early, for Newcastle, and who could blame him?

Jazz Tevaga 7
We've all got our favourites. Jazz Tevaga is mine.

He makes things happen. He's got attitude. He's up for the fight. He loves a late offload. He's a warrior.

The Warriors were all the better for his return from injury.

Adam Pompey 7
Hate to give advice but…Brown might think about starting Pompey next year, which will help put a rocket up Ken Maumalo and David Fusitua.

He was very good, and his form went some way to proving the Melbourne formula correct - never pay too much for a wing under the salary cap system. (The great Josh Addo-Carr, for instance, is apparently on about half the money Fusitu'a gets).

In an interview with NZME, Brown mentioned Pompey in particular, as an example of what a player can show when given a consistent chance.

It did help that he was playing outside Hiku, of course.

Wayde Egan 7
A very stylish dummy half, and pinpoint delivery would be no bad thing at a club which often has shaky foundations.

Should he run more?

Well, yes.

But you can compensate for that.

Jack Hetherington 7
The Warriors needed a rocket and Hetherington has a short fuse.

The Panthers loan forward had an impact beyond his short stay.

George Jennings 7
The Eels loan wing did a terrific job, and should be proud of his part in keeping the Warriors afloat.

Chanel Harris-Tavita 6
Halfback is such a crucial position, and despite all the good things you might see in his game, it's still difficult to predict the Warriors have a star on their hands.

And NRL sides need stars in the halves.

But Harris-Tavita defends strongly, and has the potential to unleash a great kicking game.

Showed the odd sign that he knows how to put a foot on the throat.

A big project for Brown.

Jack Murchie 6
The second rower gets a reasonable mark for turning up on a short-term deal as Covid-19 threatened the Warriors, and having the desire to turn it into a longer one.

The ex-Raider looks a decent prospect, even as a middle forward under the new rules.

And he's a great target for cross kicks.

Paul Turner 6
Time to get over-excited, because the experts say this kid has got it as an excitement machine with all the moves.

Made his debut in the halves against the Bulldogs and proved a slippery customer against a slipshod team.

A big test for Brown's development coaching strategies.

Patrick Herbert 6
He's tough, very strong, and competitive.

Herbert lacks a bit of refinement, but a player apparently unwanted next year deserves reconsideration with valuable squad potential.

He might even make a middle forward option in speed league.

Karl Lawton 5
Maverick. Utility. Enthusiastic. The yang to Egan's yin. How will Brown regard him?

Hard to tell. But he has a bit of x-factor.

King Vuniyayawa 5
Played five games - before heading home - which isn't much to go on but looked like an impact forward who shouldn't be discounted in assessing the future.

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 5
An unheralded acquisition, a bit of a comeback kid, who did okay.

But here's the conundrum: he's a big bloke who will need game time to keep first-grade match fit.

And he may struggle to get that game time in a revamped squad.

Ken Maumalo & David Fusitua 4
It was fairly clear that interim coach Todd Payten thought they were a touch underwhelming.

And the Warriors were a better side after they returned to Auckland.

Yes, they had their personal reasons for quitting, and it is certainly not my place to dispute those.

But this is about performance and influence.

And in that, two highly paid players were not big factors in 2020.

They should be well motivated for 2021, because the rise of Adam Pompey has put them on notice.

Adam Blair 4
Considering his position on the pay scale, his on-field contributions were terrible.

But that was always going to be the case, because Blair should never have been signed for so long and for so much money on his form and age.

The Warriors aren't a superannuation scheme.

Blair is sure to have made a big impact off the field, in a team stranded in Australia. He is the second most capped Kiwi, and the Kiwi with the most NRL games. He is a legend.

Unfortunately, he turned into a bit of a cheap shot merchant late in the career, but in his prime was one of the greatest forwards to watch, full of bounce, a desire to keep the movement going and an eye for game-changing plays.

After his final game on Sunday, he rightly saw himself as a player teammates loved to line up with, and opponents hated to face.

Even in his overpaid decline, you couldn't fail to notice him.

There was always something about Adam Blair.

Lachlan Burr 3
The off-contract, lightweight prop looked like a man on a mission to impress a potential new employer in the penultimate round against the Raiders.

He'll go down as one of many Warriors signings who leave fans scratching their heads.

The sort of squad player who might help keep you in the hunt over a tough season, but isn't going to win you titles.

Daniel Alvaro 3
Eels loan prop - standard issue.

Hayze Perham 3
You can't have eyes everywhere.

I didn't really notice much from Perham.

He's young, and the coaches will know more about his potential as an NRL centre, one of the more difficult positions to play.

With Dragons centre Euan Aitken turning up, it's tricky predicting what the future holds, although Hiku has only signed on for one more year.

I'd put lock Josh Curran, who played a couple of games, in the same category. Just don't know.

Isaiah Papali'i 3
A fascinating study for any Warriors aficionado.

It looks as though a player who was prematurely lauded two years ago will have to go elsewhere.

He was never as good, yet, as people made out.

He should never have been called into the Kiwis two years ago, when only 20.

His progress should have been guided with far more thought.

There's been too much of this nonsense at the Warriors.

It looks as though, at the age of 22, his career is in a bit of trouble.

Don't blame him.

Agnatius Paasi 3
Low minutes and not much impact before he headed home.

Warriors career over apparently.

Leeson Ah Mau 3
The prop only played the first two games before a chest injury struck after the team shifted to Australia fulltime.

But he started with a dud against the Knights followed by an ordinary effort against the Raiders.

Will have his work cut out remaining in first grade if that continues in a Warriors squad with significant new forward signings.

Gerard Beale 3
Probably hard to make a mark when the club never seems to have much faith in you.

Always lacked a physical edge though. Yet another odd bit of Warriors business.

Adam Keighran 3
Saved the best until last, against the Sea Eagles.

Next best was his debut game last year. What was it all about?

Geoff Public

Geoff Public

Don't Warri Be Happy
Some thoughts on this year.

Travel. The less airmiles the better. I hope we can play games in blocks from now on. Eg 4 away games in Sydney in a row. Queensland games and the magic round in a row. Blocks of games at Mt Smart also. NRL hq can make this happen if they want to.

Tamworth. CG came out with a win for everyone there. Well done.

Owner MR has not been seen on TV recently. Good. I think that didn't help recruiting Payton and possibly Brown originally. He babbled like a teenager on his first date in front of the cameras. Not a good look.

Gould. Like him or not (and for me it can be both in a day) we are short on NRL nous. He has the experience we need.

I feel more at ease with Brown coming in and O Sullivan recruiting than I ever did with Kearney and Smith. Time will tell on this one.

Finally our team and club did so well. Alone in Australia, with less staff in Auckland they can all stand proud..
Wellington Warrior

Wellington Warrior

I didnt bother to read after rating Blake Green an 8/10. Shows you either don’t watch the games closely or more likely have no fucking idea.

Do agree with the comment about Harris and offloads. So many times he poked through the line but never looked to offload, but mainly nobody ever seemed to be running in support (maybe because they know he doesn’t offload). Would be a 10/10 if he adds that to his game!


Another disappointment buy I thought was Beale. I know he had injury issues but he was past his best when we picked him up but then the club has a history of paying over the odds for stars that have burnt out.
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Wow that Green rating......yeah I can't take anything Rattue says seriously now regarding league or the Warriors. Embarrassing, this guy has made a career from being a sports journalist?!


Another disappointment buy I thought was Beale. I know he had injury issues but he was past his best when we picked him up but then the club has a history of paying over the odds for stars that have burnt out.
I'm glad you mentioned his injuries. That leg break during the world cup before he had even played a game for us was freakish, as was his knee cap injury last year. He would have been 27 when we picked him up so still reasonably young, but man those injuries would have been hard to get over at any age. Real unfortunate.
wizards rage

wizards rage

Can we see the full season ratings from the after match player ratings on this site?


Wow that Green rating......yeah I can't take anything Rattue says seriously now regarding league or the Warriors. Embarrassing, this guy has made a career from being a sports journalist?!

I suspect that Green rating was more a "if I was rating Robinson I'd give him -8" or something similar. If Robinson had kept his mouth shut - forget whether or not Green and Beale had officially been told "thank you, but we're not signing you for 2021" by POS, who would have been the right guy do to it, since Recruitment and Release is his job - I suspect Rat's assessment would have been different.

Or maybe - never happened before, but Covid makes people do weird shit - he's just clueless about the Warriors and how they actually performed.

Disclosure: I thought Green was ordinary enough in 2019 - yes, he wasn't anywhere near entirely responsible for the badness, but he was certain a factor - that I certainly wouldn't have offered him an extension/new contract unless it was taking up considerably less of the salary cap, which means he's not justifying a starting half spot so it's bench time for Green in 2021. Which he and his management would have most certainly said Nah to. So I'm on board with the club allowing him to go once he got a spot somewhere else.
Off The Bench

Off The Bench

I hope the warriors management looks at the intangibles from this year's second half of the year performance.

My only fear is we revert back
An not go forward as a club .
So many NRL established players in our squad
We might lose that everybody playing as a team thing .
That we got from our no name heroes that we had this year .
I'm a little sad we didn't keep them all an just add Addin Fonua-Blake in there
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Wrighty's ratings

Tohu Harris Rattue rating 9.5/ Wrighty rating 10
He has votes and is in the meilue for this years Dally M. He won't win. But he was in the top ten NRL players this year quite comfortably. If that doesn't earn a 10 what will. Pretty hard up stingy of Rattue not to grant a 10 to Tohu Harris.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 9.5/ Wrighty rating 6.5
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck came home with a wet sail but his, what, 2?? tries all season long is a paltry effort. Lack of family and whanau really impacted Roger Tuivasa-Sheck more than anyone. Didn't assess his leadership though otherwise would give a 9. Hell of a year to be captain of the NZ franchise.

Eliesa Katoa 9/Wrighty 9.9
Our winning record when he played was 46% compared to 40% for the season. Took 0.1 points away from him for some rookie baffling decisions he made in his second or third match. He learned and never made those mistakes again. Read this twice - this superstar scored 6 tries in only 13 matches. His try on the weekend was ruby league pornography. To use a phrase Australians do to describe outstanding cricketers. "Katoa is good."

Peta Hiku Rattue 8/Wrighty 9

His 9 try assists were not bettered by any other NRL centre.

Kodi Nikorima 8 / Wrighty 8
Somthing tells me despite SJs master class this year he is getting old in the tooth. Nikorima blossomed this year. We are ok at half. We have recovered from having our star quarter back ripped away.

Blake Green 8/ Wrighty 4
Didn't do anything wrong. Didn't do anything right either.

Jazz Tevaga Rattue 7/ Wrighty 2

My views on Jazz are well documented. That said I thought he played very well and was one of the best players on the field against Manly this last week. The part of his game that impresses is his passing. Not a bad link man at all. That said he continued to make rookie errors all season long despite having 600 million NRL games under his belt.

Adam Pompey 7/ Wrighty 5

He was ok. A 5 means average. That is what he was. I don't see a long term NRL future here.

Wayde Egan 7/ Wrighty 9
When he was on the field our forwards made 10 metres more per set.

Jack Hetherington 7/ Wrighty 9
Cult hero. What a guy!

George Jennings 7/ Wrighty 9
That is how wingers are supposed to defend their wing. For the past 4 years if you spun it wide in the red zone against warriors not only was it an automatic try but often there would be a two man overlap.
Don't think Jennings gave up a single try down his wing.

Chanel Harris-Tavita 6/ Wrighty 5.5
Had a roller coaster season. Some games he was credible. yet in others found wanting. He isn't 20. He is 21 and turns 22 in April His last game vs Manly was his best ever by some distance.

Jack Murchie 6/Wrighty 8
Kent is a good signing

Paul Turner 6/Wrighty 2
Is a rookie played like a rookie, Will improve with mire experience.

Patrick Herbert 6/ Wrighty 1
Worst Warrior defensively and under the high ball, terrific decision to let him go to the Titans. He won't be in the NRL 36 months from now. Won't be good enough for super league either, In my view I detect he doesn't train extensively, or only does what is required at training rather than staying late after training to get Stacey to pepper him with bombs for example. Yes that is raw speculation by me. And yes he certainly knows his way to the try line. Needs to work on the defensive side of his game as offence is well sorted.

Karl Lawton 5/Wrighty 4
As with Blake Green did nothing wrong. Did nothng right either.
He looks like a genuine back up hooker rather than a clubs leading hooker,
He would never be a union scrum half as his passing speed from the base of the ruck is quite fricking dinosaur like. If he is on $150K then ok value for that dosh.

King Vuniyayawa 5/ meh

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 5/Wrighty 7

At times he had to lead the pack some weeks. That was hard for him emotionally given his experience level. Cleary guilty of being in awe of the opposing star forwards as he probably has them on posters back home in his bedroom. Gets a 7 from me as he got stuck in and showed resilience both physically and from a character perspective.
Ken Maumalo & David Fusitua 4/Wrighty 0
Didn't play much early in the season and then went home. Didn't do much when they did play other than leak tries that Jennings wouldn't have. They embarassed themselves and hurt their brand as players.

Adam Blair 4/ Wrighty 7.5
Great final season. Lost much of his bulk this year making him dead easy to tackle.

Lachlan Burr 3/Wrighty 6

Daniel Alvaro 3/ meh

Hayze Perham 3/Wrighty 7

He is better than the following Warrior centres

Is he better than Keighran? He fucking better be or we kept the wrong player as back up centre.

Isaiah Papali'i 3/Wrighty agrees 3
Agree word for word with Rattue's write up on him. Waste of our time. Made no attempt to develop an off load or develop in general.

Agnatius Paasi 3/meh

Wasn't around much for me to judge him.

Leeson Ah Mau 3/Wrighty N/A
Not prepared to rate him.

Gerard Beale 3/Wrighty 6
Giving him a 6 in memory of the fact he at one point was a top ten NRL centre (an inside joke for those that remember)

Adam Keighran 3/wrighty 8
Kicked ass in his one outing. Looked like a gifted centre, man was he a shit house stand off though. Him and his agent should have positioned him as a centre from the get go and his time here could have been more successful.

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