Bench players have been impressive contributors to the Vodafone Warriors’ winning start to the 2018 NRL season.

In each of the wins over South Sydney, Gold Coast and Canberra, the interchange players have made a profound impact when injected into the contests.

That was especially true in last week’s dramatic 20-19 win over the Raiders when Bunty Afoa, Jazz Tevaga, Sam Lisone and Ligi Sao combined to play a huge part in the team’s comeback.

The 21-year-old Afoa was the player of the day in the first-round win over South Sydney and has sustained his form since. Likewise Lisone throughout while Tevaga made a superb contribution from the bench against the Raiders and Pulu was strong off the interchange in the first two rounds (playing almost the whole game against Gold Coast after replacing the injured Isaiah Papali'i).

After three rounds, Afoa ranks third among all players for most post-contact metres with 174.4 (only Blake Ferguson and Jai Arrow are ahead of him).

Here’s a rundown of the bench players’ stats in the first three rounds:

 

v SOUTH SYDNEY | Won 32-20

Bunty Afoa | 47 minutes, 14 runs, 141 metres, 63 post-contact metres, 4 tackle breaks, 27 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 0 ineffective tackles, 1 decoy, 4 supports.

Leivaha Pulu | 37 minutes, 9 runs, 92 metres, 31 post-contact metres, 1 tackle break, 1 off load, 18 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 0 ineffective tackles, 5 decoys, 6 supports.

Sam Lisone | 29 minutes, 1 try, 6 runs, 78 metres, 15 post-contact metres, 1 line break, 14 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 0 ineffective tackles, 4 decoys, 8 supports.

Sam Cook | 12 minutes, 2 runs, 17 metres, 2 dummy half runs, 4 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 1 ineffective tackle.

 

v GOLD COAST | Won 20-8

Leivaha Pulu | 73 minutes, 7 runs, 44 metres, 16 post-contact metres, 1 line break assist, 2 tackle breaks, 4 off loads, 24 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 2 ineffective tackles, 2 decoys, 2 supports.

Bunty Afoa | 41 minutes, 11 runs, 96 metres, 38 post-contact metres, 1 line break, 2 tackle breaks, 1 off load, 23 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 1 ineffective tackle, 3 decoys, 5 supports.

Sam Lisone | 30 minutes, 8 runs, 71 metres, 16 post-contact metres, 1 tackle break, 1 off load, 18 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 1 ineffective tackle, 7 supports.

Sam Cook | 7 minutes, 8 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 0 ineffective tackles, 2 supports.

 

v CANBERRA | Won 20-19

Jazz Tevaga | 56 minutes, 15 runs, 133 metres, 43 post-contact metres, 1 tackle break, 1 off load, 36 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 3 ineffective tackles, 7 decoys, 13 supports.

Bunty Afoa | 50 minutes, 12 runs, 167 metres, 74 post-contact metres, 1 tackle break, 1 off load, 37 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 3 ineffective tackles, 10 decoys, 12 supports.

Sam Lisone | 27 minutes, 10 runs, 133 metres, 25 post-contact metres, 2 tackle breaks, 13 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 1 ineffective tackle, 6 decoys, 5 supports.

Ligi Sao | 16 minutes, 6 runs, 58 metres, 23 post-contact metres, 3 off loads, 5 tackles, 1 missed tackle, 0 ineffective tackles, 3 decoys, 6 supports.