Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will again be a key for the Warriors.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will again be a key for the Warriors.

SuperCoach NRL study guide: Warriors

The Warriors finally made the top eight last season, their first taste of football in September since their fairytale run to the Grand Final in 2011.

Unfortunately, the off-season has not been kind to them and it may be their last time of finals footy for another few years.

The loss of Shaun Johnson, one of the few constants at the Warriors since 2011, cannot be understated.



This loss is magnified by the prior signing of Mason Lino by the Knights, who would have walked into the top 17 as SJ's replacement given his performances in SJ's absence previously. The loss of Gavet is also not ideal for a forward pack that had also lost Simon Mannering and Albert Vete, although Leeson Ah Mau is an underrated replacement.

There are some genuine question marks about this team and the majority of rugby league experts consider the Warriors to be the team most likely to regress and miss the finals this year.

Of course, with change comes opportunity and there are some real interesting options at the Warriors for Round 1.




1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Ken Maumalo, 3. Solomone Kata, 4. Gerard Beale/Peta Hiku, 5. David Fusitu'a, 6. Blake Green, 7. Adam Keighran, 8. Leeson Ah Mau, 9. Issac Luke*, 10. Agnatius Paasi, 11. Isaiah Papali'i, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Adam Blair, 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Lachlan Burr/Leivaha Pulu

* Luke is racing the clock to be fit for Round 1. If he's not ready, Jazz Tevaga, Karl Lawton and Nathaniel Roache are all potential options to replace Luke temporarily.

Who's left: Karl Lawton, Nathaniel Roache, Blake Ayshford, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Hayze Perham, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Ligi Sao, Tevita Satae, Jackson Frei, Patrick Herbert, Taane Milne,




In: Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons, 2021), Lachlan Burr (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2020), Jackson Frei (2019), Adam Keighran (Penrith Panthers, 2020)

Out: Manaia Cherrington (released), James Gavet (Newcastle Knights), Anthony Gelling (Widnes Vikings), Shaun Johnson (Cronulla Sharks), Mason Lino (Newcastle Knights), Simon Mannering (retired), Zac Santo (released), Albert Vete (Melbourne Storm)



The Warriors are on the bye in round 12.





Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (FLB, $535,100)

2018 average: 57.2

RTS may have had a Dally M-winning season on the field, but he wasn't winning any awards for SuperCoaches with a decent, but hardly game-breaking, 57.2 point per game average. Available at fullback only he is a difficult pick because of the presences of James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic. However, RTS has the opportunity to step up more as a playmaker with the absence of Shaun Johnson, and we saw his ability as a playmaker in 2015 when he averaged an incredible 77.4 points per game taking out the highest overall SuperCoach points tally for the season. That was a different team however, and the question remains as to whether the Warriors can provide him with the same level of support as the Roosters did in 2015. Think 11 tries and 13 try assists compared to five tries and 10 try assists, plus a significantly lower number of tackle busts and hit-ups overall. RTS would not be the worst pick to start Round 1 given his room for growth, but gosh it's hard to go past Teddy or Turbo!



Isaiah Papali'i (2RF, $462,400)

2018 average: 49.4

Papali'i was actually a rookie that I was quite bullish on in 2017, and when he was picked for Round one I duly jumped on. That was a mistake, as he proceeded to sit out until Round 22 before he was given another shot in first grade. Oops! Papali'i showed in 2018 that he has plenty of potential, and played decent minutes for a majority of the year. In fact, he played 60 minutes or more (with plenty of 80 minute games) in 14 of his 19 games last season, averaging 59.9 points per game and 76.7 minutes per game. In his ten 80 minute games, his average bumps up to 62.6 points per game! That's tantalising - and with Mannering gone, there are minutes on offer. The question is, does Papali'i get them and also, where does he play? His 80 minute games were on the left edge last year; there are rumours that he may shift to lock as Mannering's replacement this year; and potentially he could spend time at lock and on the edge! There are some question marks, but there's also a LOT of potential.


Harris is one of the most complete backrowers in the competition. Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images.
Harris is one of the most complete backrowers in the competition. Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images.


Tohu Harris (2RF, $564,400)

2018 average: 60.3

Turning our attention to the other edge backrower, Tohu is the forgotten man of the borderline second row options these days. In 2019, it's all about the Crichtons, Kikaus, Fitzgibbons and even Tapine; only two seasons ago, Tohu was the man on the edge, and people clamoured to get him in. Sure, losing SJ is a hit, but in the last two years, SJ actually didn't provide that much joy for Tohu. Partially due to injury, but also it just didn't happen for him the same way it was happening for Bodene Thompson. So if Tohu clicks with the new right-side half, we could see an uptick in attacking stats. Harris is probably a bit of a risk for Round one, but all I'm saying is, don't forget about (not that) old Tohu who is about to start his seventh season in first grade!



Adam Keighran (HFB/5/8, $168,100) / whoever is picked to partner Blake Green

2018 average: N/A

It's not controversial - the Warriors halfback vacancy is a three-horse race between Adam Keighran, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Hayze Perham. Keighran is the frontrunner at the moment, but there's still a lot of the pre-season to go. Keighran is a bit of a gun goalkicker though, so he is certainly the SuperCoach preference!




David Fusitu'a (CTW, $444,900)

2018 average: 47.5

The Fus was a high risk, bye coverage POD option that - if you jumped on at the right time, and played him on selective weeks - was able to add some real value to your team and your team's scores. However, that was off the back of SJ magic, generating plenty of tries for the right winger on his side of the field. With SJ gone, and an unknown at halfback, you would expect a regression in the number of tries scored by Fusitu'a and accordingly, a drop in his SuperCoach production.


Adam Blair (FRF/2RF, $397,700)

2018 average: 42.5

Some savvy SuperCoaches are probably locked into the fact that Simon Mannering's retirement frees up a lot of minutes in the middle of the park, minutes which need to be taken up by someone. There's also plenty of tackles to be made as well. Some may decide to risk Blair, the likely replacement for Mannering at lock, to be an option but we have plenty of historical stats to show us that Blair just doesn't have the type of game to benefit SuperCoach-wise. He's an avoid.



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