Mitchell Moses steps up
The much maligned Mitchell Moses delivered his best game of first grade to date with a superb performance against the Warriors. Setting up the first try of a game with a pass to put Curtis Sironen through a hole and over the line, Moses later set up another try with a cut-out ball for David Nofoaluma and confidently steered his team around the field. He demonstrated a good level of composure and maturity, controlling the game in the first half with his kicking and having an accurate day with the boot converting five goals from six attempts. A very promising performance from a talented young player who is still learning on his feet in first grade.
Woeful Warriors poor starts continue
The Warriors haven’t won a Round 1 match since 2009 and continued their trend of starting the season off slow. Down 16-0 within the first twenty minutes, the Warriors looked completely outclassed and devoid of energy compared to their opposition. To their credit the Warriors mounted a comeback in the second half, scoring 22 consecutive points in the space of 19 minutes and came within 2 points of the Tigers in the last quarter of the match but a truly awful start to the game made its mark in the end.
New recruits not a quick-fix solution
The signings of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke had many an expert and hopeful fan expecting the Warriors were a guaranteed Top 4 side on paper but one should learn never to expect anything with great certainty about the Warriors.
RTS failed to make much of an impact, he did make a vital run from within his team’s 10m zone down to the 20m zone on the opposite side to put the Warriors in good field position to set up a try but was otherwise sketchy in defence and a relative non-factor in the game. Issac Luke was unable to provide much spark either with his replacement Nathaniel Roache providing a more significant energy boost for the Warriors when he was on the field.
While new combinations will take time to gel and become effective, it’s a dose of reality to the club and fans that their new recruits aren’t miracle workers.
Ben Henry can’t catch a break
Ben Henry has had a horror run of injuries lately and unfortunately he suffered what looks to be another serious season-ending injury. 30 minutes into the game Henry went in for a routine tackle and fell awkwardly in the process, clutching at his knee that was already heavily bandaged and had to be helped off field. The diagnosis appears to be that he dislocated his kneecap.
Having already missed the majority of 2013 and 2015 due to injury and going in for two knee reconstructions it’s an absolutely devastating blow for the young man whose playing career and future could be in some doubt.
IN THE SHEDS
New Zealand Warriors
Ben Henry- As noted above Henry left the field late in the first half with a knee injury and his 2016 season looks to be over already.
Wests Tigers- 34
Tries: Curtis Sironen (6m), Kyle Lovett (15m), David Nofoaluma (19m), James Tedesco (28m, 80m), Tim Simona (38m)
Goals: Mitchell Moses 5/6
New Zealand Warriors- 26
Tries: Solomone Kata (24m, 66m), Simon Mannering (47m), Bodene Thompson (58m), Shaun Johnson (64m)
Goals: Tuimoala Lolohea 3/5