What we learnt: Cowboys v Warriors
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1. Cowboys too good for Warriors
The Warriors season is as good as gone as the Cowboys prevailed in Townsville 24-12. While the Cowboys didn’t particularly ‘light it up’ against a struggling Warriors side, they did look the sharper, a reflection of the time they have had to adjust to playing without their injured playmaker Jonathan Thurston. In contrast, while Mason Lino did an adequate job replacing Shaun Johnson for the New Zealand side, he does not, this early in his career, have the match winning potential that was needed. For the Cowboys, Julian O’Neill and Ethan Lowe scored, while Javid Bowen crossed for a double. For the Warriors, Bunty Afoa and Simon Mannering both scored. The win takes the Cowboys to 28 points and they are in 5th place, while the Warriors remain on 18 points and drop to 12th.
2. Mannering tops the scoring
Another stellar performance from fantasy gun Simon Mannering with 83 points (including 54 tackles and a try), taking his three-round average to 74. Mannering is the one consistent in the most inconsistent team in the NRL, and deserves better than to have to continually try and prop up the rest of the side – something that seems to be par for the course each week. If you’re one of the 82% of coaches that don’t have him, you could do worse than to spend one of your last trades on getting him in your side.
3. Taumalolo disappoints
Well not really. He did score 59, though coaches that captained him would’ve expected more given the Warriors propensity for weakness up the middle. Truth is, Mannering was there or thereabouts whenever Jason Taumalolo touched the ball and was able to nullify a lot of the damage that he had the potential to cause.
4. Lino has potential
I’ll say it now, neither Mason Lino or Ata Hingano are going to dominate the NRL (yes, I know .. I’m really putting it all on the line with that prediction!). In fact, it’s questionable whether either of them are even first grade standard. However, the race to nail down the vacant halves spot alongside Johnson for 2018, will be one point of interest for Warriors fans for the remainder of this season. On tonight’s performance, Lino has his nose in front.
5. Barge-overs for days ..
Not fantasy related, but Solomon Kata continues to make Blake Ayshford look like a decent centre for the Warriors with his own ineptness and greed. Has there ever been a more telegraphed self-serving play than Kata’s 5th tackle barge over attempt from dummy-half late in the second half, when the clever play (not something synonymous with the Warriors), would’ve been a play aimed at getting a repeat set? Stupid, but typical.