The Warriors head into a bye after a solid five weeks that have turned around their NRL fortunes, but Simon Mannering says they can’t afford to get comfortable.
The 27-18 result over the Gold Coast Titans in Auckland on Saturday represented the Warriors’ fourth win in five matches.
Their only defeat in that stretch was to competition leaders Cronulla via golden point defeat.
It’s a change from how they went into their first bye, which was preceded by three losses in four matches, the last a 38-12 thumping by Canberra in New Plymouth.
“Obviously getting four wins out of five was important for us, but we need to do that again after the bye,” Mannering said.
“We’re still not in a position to get comfortable at all. We’ll enjoy that little block, but there are a lot of things we can work on as a team.”
The defeat to the Raiders put a dampener on what was billed as hooker Issac Luke’s returned to Taranaki.
But beating the Titans meant the Warriors were able to mark Mannering’s 250th NRL appearance in style.
The 41-Test Kiwi came out at Mt Smart Stadium with his two children and was greeted by a standing ovation from the 15,000-strong crowd and an on-field haka.
“I tried to keep it as low key as I could during the week,” he said.
“To have the family out here and just all the messages of support from the guys I played alongside years ago – that’s pretty humbling.
“It’s definitely a night I’ll treasure at the end of my career.”
Having given up the captaincy at the start of the year after six seasons in the job, he stood in against the Titans after regular skipper Ryan Hoffman was struck down by a virus.
Mannering, 29, made his first-grade debut in 2005 and it was one of his ex-teammates, former wing Francis Meli, who presented him with match jumper against the Titans.
“I started my career sleeping on his couch,” Mannering recalled.
“It was cool to have him there and to present me my jersey. Those are things you never forget.”