ANALYSIS: He came in the first class as a somewhat watered-down version of Manu Vatuvei, but Ken Maumalo nowadays makes his own Warriors legacy.
The Kiwis international is in a rich form, interrupted by its best performance of the year against the knights on Saturday.
Maumalo ran more than 240 meters and scored twice – cruelly denied the first hat trick of his career by a video replay – and consistently raised his hand to put the Warriors out of danger every time the game felt like momentum was swinging.
He has been one of his partners all year round, and that kind of consistency has been something Maumalo has been striving for since he was in first grade.
Very unpleasant prospect when he debuted in 2015, Maumalo wanted to imitate the game of his idol and club giant, Vatuvei.
But maybe he has & # 39; The Beast & # 39; imitated too early. For all the good in Maumalo & # 39; s game, there was also a lot of bad.
He had a few errors in him and was shaky (at best) under the high ball. He was constantly focused on defense, where he tended to make bad decisions and had no communication with his inner men.
But the club insisted and flashed on to 2019, one could argue that no player in the NRL has improved as much as Maumalo.
He is currently the highest equivalent try-scorer of the NRL with 12, after scoring only 14 total in the previous four seasons.
But it is Maumalo's running game that so far has been the explanation of his 2019.
The large left wing currently leads the NRL in total runs and run meters.
And when it comes to mail contact meters, statistics are usually dominated by front rowers, nobody comes close.
The Papatoetoe Panthers junior leads the NRL with 929m after contact, more than 140m ahead of his closest competition in that category.
Together with 2018 Dally M Medalist Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and last season's leading try-scorer David Fusitu & # 39; a, Maumalo is part of the best back-three of the competition.
And the good news for Warriors fans is that all three are locked up in the long term (Maumalo signed until the end of 2022).
The likes of Melbourne & # 39; s Josh Addo-Carr, Parramatta & # 39; s Blake Ferguson and the star Corey Oates of the Broncos all have claims to the title of & # 39; NRL & # 39; s best winger & # 39; , but so does Maumalo – and the statistics support that.
The Warriors are coming to Brisbane from Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, where Maumalo, an average of more than 180m in a match, will once again watch his impressive opening half of the season.