Stat Attack: RTS finds 'another level' for hot and cold Warriors

He was judged the best player in the NRL Telstra Premiership last year, and stats through the first month of the new season suggest Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is even better in 2019.  

After four rounds the New Zealand Warriors captain is the only player in the competition who ranks among the top five in run metres, kick return metres, line breaks and tackle breaks.

His running metres are up on last year, averaging 195 compared to 178, with two 200 metre-plus performances already under his belt this season.

Those running numbers are the best the 25-year-old has achieved since he smashed the NRL record for total run metres with the Roosters in 2015.

Despite the Warriors copping two heavy defeats through the first month, hooker Karl Lawton said Tuivasa-Sheck's performance hasn't waned.

"He’s a freak, that’s pretty much all you can say," Lawton told NRL.com.

"Every week, and I don’t know how he does it, he just finds the runs, the metres, he’s always there and turns up every week.

"That’s why he’s the Dally M Player of the Year. That’s the sign of an elite player [when they can do it when the team isn't performing].

"Everything he touches turns to gold, and it’s not because of luck, it’s because of effort.

"He’s a great captain, a good leader who leads from the front and who definitely leads with his actions."

With Shaun Johnson gone, and a rookie five-eighth partnering Blake Green in the halves, Tuivasa-Sheck has also taken on more playmaking responsibility.

Already he has laid on a pair of try assists and is averaging more kick metres than ever before in his eight-season career, with Solomone Kata telling NRL.com it’s been a new addition to Tuivasa-Sheck's training regime.

"He does practise his play-making and kicking game all the time at training," Kata said.

"He knows when there's a chance to join the halves that he can jump in there and help out.

"He’s been really good man, really good … he has found another level."

While Tuivasa-Sheck's form has been an overwhelming positive for the Warriors in a mixed season to date, coach Stephen Kearney – who handed the fullback his Test debut in 2013 – said it presents the coaching staff with a challenge. 

"Eight of 10, eight and a half out of 10, nine out of 10, that’s the standard that he sets himself," Kearney said.

"So it’s really important for us as a coaching group to keep challenging ‘Rog’ to be even better than what he can be, and we will continue to do that."