Mannering NRL milestone motivates Warriors

Simon Mannering has been praised by Warriors coach Andrew McFadden ahead of his milestone NRL match on Saturday against Gold Coast.

Mannering will rack up 250 first-grade appearances when he runs out against the Titans in Auckland.

“I’ve met players that can give everything, but I haven’t met players like Simon that can do it under a fair bit of duress,” coach Andrew McFadden said.

“People won’t even know what he has to put up with in a game and he’s certainly the ultimate warrior.”

Given Mannering’s understated style, McFadden indicated the back-rower would have preferred to be out of the spotlight this week.

“He’ll hate all this attention,” McFadden said.

“He’s a team man and it’s about the team.”

An 80-minute player, Mannering again demonstrated his huge work rate in the Warriors’ 19-18 golden-point defeat last weekend to ladder leaders Cronulla.

He made 67 tackles, include two try-savers, and had 11 carries for 84 metres before McFadden took him off in the third minute of extra time because he was running on empty.

Against the Titans, Mannering will close to within 11 games of former halfback Stacey Jones’ club record 261 NRL matches.

However, overhauling that mark isn’t a focus for him.

“I’ve just been lucky to represent the club this many times and I want to make the most of how ever many I’ve got left,” he said.

Mannering, 29, made his debut against Brisbane in 2005, going on to captain both club and country.

He relinquished the club captaincy at the start of the year after a six-season tenure, citing the effect the job was having on his enjoyment of the game.

Teammate Shaun Johnson said Mannering’s milestone would provide the Warriors with added motivation against the Titans.

“He’s a person that doesn’t want to be mentioned but, as players, we respect him and hold him that high that it’s going to drive us,” Mannering said.

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