Player Ratings: Who provides the Warriors with the best value for money?

By Dale Budge

These player ratings are not your typical assessment of a player's contribution to the season. They are based on the player's performance relative to the portion of the salary cap that player takes up.

NZME's Dale Budge breaks it down.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - D
The reigning Dally M Fullback of the year made only a handful of appearances at the beginning of the season before going down with a season-ending knee injury. His absence was notable and Warriors fans will be hoping their star fullback has more luck on the injury front next season.

Tuimoala Lolohea - C-
Lolohea failed to display the standard of consistency or attention to detail required at first grade level. He moved from position to position in the back-line as his form and confidence fluctuated and as injuries forced other players out. Lolohea has potential but needs to tidy up his game if he is to fulfil it.

David Fusitua - B+
Another player who found himself shuffling around the back-line but with more success than Lolohea. Fusitua started the season in reserve grade but became a guaranteed starter with his solid all-round play and tremendous finishing. Fusitua would win a most improved player award for the Warriors in 2016 and is in-line for a key role with the side next year.

Manu Vatuvei - D
The veteran winger hasn't been at his best this season as niggling injuries interrupted his season and his explosiveness showed signs of decline. His effort levels were certainly there after the mid-season Red Bull and pills saga but errors still plagued his game. His big salary, secured for the next two seasons, seems a major mistake by management as there are better options out there for that amount of cap space.

Ken Maumalo - C
Re-signed with the club during the season and finished the back half of the year as a first choice player. Carted the ball strongly but offers little else out wide. Errors were an issue for him at times and he was caught out by faster wingers too often. Will need to show serious improvement to become a consistent NRL winger.

Jonathan Wright - C+
Wright gets a lot of criticism from Warriors fans but he fulfilled his role based on the minimal amount of cap space he consumes. His role is a reserve grader that fills in when required in first grade. He displayed some solid displays but a poor showing against Cronulla, where he made a number of errors, cloud people's judgement. Wright is not the problem.

Matthew Allwood - C+
Like Wright Allwood's job is to fill-in when required. Like Wright Allwood did a solid job of that with limited opportunities. Another player that will not set the world on fire but he should not be the target of most scrutiny.

Blake Ayshford - B-
Ayshford enjoyed a pretty solid first season with the Warriors, rediscovering his try-scoring form on the Warriors right edge. He produced a couple of disappointing performances towards the end of the season and he lost his starting spot for the final games. Based on his salary, Ayshford has been a good signing for the Warriors. He will start 2017 as a back-up player befitting his cap space.

Konrad Hurrell - D
The powerful centre transferred mid-season to the Titans, which has worked out well for both the Warriors and Hurrell. The Tongan international turned up in better shape during the pre-season but had his work ethic questioned and discipline called into question one too many times for club management. Was involved in the Red Bull and pills saga and then bagged out coach Andrew McFadden before being shipped out. Has played well for the Titans in their run to the finals.

Solomone Kata - A-
Kata has enjoyed a very impressive season and established himself as the Warriors' first choice centre. The powerful Tongan international has a habit of running across field a little too much and he needs to be able to pass better to his winger but has been pretty solid defensively. He will be in the discussion for the club's player of the year.

Jeff Robson - D
Even with a modest salary Robson didn't provide what the Warriors were hoping for when they signed him. He made too many basic errors and lasted only a handful of games before coach McFadden was forced to make a change. He became surplus to requirements and was released on compassionate grounds to return to Sydney, where he linked up with the Eels.

Thomas Leuluai - A-
The Warriors will really miss Leuluai's ability to straighten the side's attack and his work ethic on defense. The Kiwis test veteran was moved to the halves early on and he became a key cog in the club's strong period through middle and later part of the season. While he fell off a few tackles in the last couple of games, Leuluai put his all into his campaign and will be another contender for player of the year honours.

Shaun Johnson - D
Johnson played every game this season but rarely was at 100 percent health. He spent the early part of the year coming back from a serious injury late last season and then picked up a nagging quad injury that limited his performances during the second half of the year. He struggled to find form behind a pack that failed to gain ascendency for the most part and copped significant criticism for the side's under-performance. The halfback needs a solid off-season and a lot more help from teammates to reach top form next year.

Ata Hingano - B
In a couple of games in first grade late in the season Hingano showed some promise. He was prepared to take the line on and was happy to get involved on attack. He made a couple of rookie errors as well but will be better for the experience. Looks the likely favourite to partner Johnson in the halves next year at this early stage.

Issac Luke - C+
The prize off-season recruit turned up badly out of shape and epitomized some of the lack of urgency that plagued the side's performances this season. To be fair he turned it around and looked more like the quality player we've come to know after the first six weeks or so. Provided some much-needed creativity around the ruck during the side's impressive run but got cut down by injury late in the season.

Jazz Tevaga - B+
Tevaga made an impressive introduction to first grade in sporadic appearances this year. Filled in admirably for Luke at hooker and worked hard as a small back-rower too. The Papakura junior provided a strong work ethic but probably needs to put on a small amount of bulk to be more effective.

Nathaniel Roache - B-
Roache got limited chances in first grade this year and was forced to move out to the backs on more than one occasion when injury struck others. Looked an attacking threat if the forwards were able to lay a reasonable platform but needs to improve his defense at first grade level. Still eligible for the Under 20s, Roache looks to be a player of the future.

Jacob Lillyman - C-
The Queensland Origin rep worked hard all season for the Warriors but has become less effective overall as the team's forward pack struggled to match the best sides. Lillyman is probably better suited to being a bench prop for one of the better sides these days rather than leading a slightly weaker pack like the Warriors. The loyal servant will play a final season for the Warriors in 2017.

Ben Matulino - D
Matulino has to be one of the big disappointments at the Warriors this season. At his best he is among the best props in the game but he failed to get anywhere near that this season. Was involved in the Red Bull and pills saga and at times appeared to lack enthusiasm. He heads into the off-season with a major question mark hovering over him. As a well-paid player and someone who should be in the prime of his career, the Warriors need a lot more out of him.

Albert Vete - B
The young prop showed some really promising signs as he continues to establish himself in first grade. His finish to the year was impressive giving hope that he might be able to step up even further in 2017. Got a bit a kick in the pants after his involvement in the pills saga but has shown enough effort to show that he can be a future leader of this side.

James Gavet - C+
The raw-boned prop had limited chances in first grade this year, which surprised some people. Gavet plays with an aggression that sets him apart from the other Warriors forwards. In his 10 games he often played only short stints but he would run hard and try to make an impact with his defense. The former Tigers and Broncos prop would be worth giving extra game time to in 2017.

Sione Lousi - D
Injury once again cut short his season and, in all likelihood, his time with the club. On a bigger salary than his role warrants, Lousi failed to make much on an impact and managed just the solitary game in first grade before another season-ending injury. His career has been plagued by serious injury and his 50 first grade games have been split across seven seasons. He is off-contract now.

Toa Sipley - B
The promising rookie got a couple of chances to showcase his ability in first grade and didn't look out of place. Surprisingly didn't get many more opportunities after his promising start. Sipley is another youngster that looks to be a player of tremendous promise.

Charlie Gubb - C
Gubb plays with plenty of aggression but is not effective in longer stints - really struggling on defense at the back end of his rotations on the field. Discipline is also a major concern though there did appear to be similar incidents this year that attracted significantly less punishment. The Warriors have taken up an option on Gubb for 2017 despite him wanting to chase a more lucrative deal elsewhere.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner - C-
Faitala-Mariner made just one appearance before he was essentially traded to the Bulldogs for Shaun Lane. The Warriors weren't using Faitala-Mariner in first grade so a swap of out-of-favour second rowers seemed a good idea. The move didn't really achieve anything as Lane barely saw first grade action either. Faitala-Mariner has been more of a success at the Bulldogs however.

Shaun Lane - C-
Lane made just the one first grade appearance after coming across mid-season from the Bulldogs. He didn't really cost the Warriors anything but they didn't achieve anything from the move either. Lane will move back to Sydney now and will link up with Manly for 2017.

Ligi Sao - C-
Sao has barely made any impact since arriving in Auckland after a spell at Manly. He got injured in the pre-season and managed just two first grade games in which he had no impact. The Warriors would have been hoping for more when they signed him and will need him to get in good shape this off-season.

Sam Lisone - C
Lisone played 21 games for the Warriors this season and showed signs of real promise but mixed that with some very poor errors of judgement. He gives away too many penalties and makes too many errors to be a solid first grade option at this point but the upside is apparent.

Bodene Thompson - B+
Thompson was caught up in the pills saga as well and missed a couple of games through injury. He proved a big loss when that happened and the Warriors are clearly a better side when he plays. He gives halfback Shaun Johnson a strong-running option on the right edge and works hard in attack. The Warriors need Thompson to become a leader of the side in 2017.

Ryan Hoffman - C+
The Warriors skipper certainly has the attitude the Warriors need but his own performances varied in quality throughout the season. He tried hard but made some crucial errors and missed some vital tackles for a player of his ability and the cap space he commands. The toll of the season's failure showed at times as he lost his cool with referees and it became counter-productive trying to engage them in conversation.

Bunty Afoa - B+
Afoa played in four first grade appearances and impressed in his small sample of first grade. He ran nicely off Shaun Johnson and worked hard without the ball. Afoa will surely get more opportunity next season having re-signed with the club late in the year.

John Palavi - C-
Palavi got three games in the top grade this year but was unable to cement a spot there or make much of an impact. He spent the rest of the season in NSW Cup and is another player off-contract at the end of the season and unlikely to return next year.

Simon Mannering - A-
Regardless of the standard around him Mannering continues to play at the same high level he has displayed for years. In some cases his performances in losing causes were even more staggering. Mannering looked more relaxed without the burden of captaincy this year. He will once again be the leading contender for the club's player of the year award. He deserves better from his teammates.

Ben Henry - D
The sad story of Ben Henry's first grade career came to an end in 2016 as yet another serious knee injury not only ruined his season in the first game of the year but also forced him into premature retirement. The hard-working and talented Henry deserved more luck but the game can be cruel at times.

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