Thursday, 26 May 2016

Pack Your Bags Mannering

Written by Gareth Sykes

All good things must come to an end and for me the time has come for Mannering to pack his shit and walk away from the NZ Warriors.

Simon is one of the few that has pulled on the Warriors jersey and worn it with pride and through his actions has shown the meaning of leadership, commitment, pride and courage on a weekly basis. Mannering regularly tops the tackle count throughout the competition at seasons end and has more often than not gone above the 1000 tackle mark for the season.

Although he isn't a huge talker on the field he is a man that let's his actions do the talking for him. A man that gives inspiration to others in his side by the way he conducts himself on a footy field in the heat of battle. His captaincy came under scrutiny for not being vocal enough. They said that isn't how a leader should act in a game. That's not who we need captaining our side. We need someone more vocal to lead the troops around in a game, yet we seem to hear how we cannot have a coach who is overly vocal as this will upset the players, go figure.

When you hear about tough players in the NRL you rarely hear Mannerings name get mentioned. That isn't because he isn't one hell of a tough competitor, it's because the only thing that comes close to beating Mannerings determination to win is his determination to avoid the limelight. It's because of this that he is quite often the forgotten man in rugby league, he doesn't go out soaking up the accolades for a "tough as nails" performance that he gives week in week out just like he doesn't cry foul when criticized over one of his very few below par performances.

As a 19 year old Simon was pulled from his sick bed to make up numbers. The coaching staff plan was to get him through to halftime and pull him from the field. Ropati was injured and that changed plans, Mannering had to stay on at as the half time siren sounded he looked like he had just crawled from his death bed, running on 3 cylinders. As the trainers approached him Simon mentioned "my hand is a bit sore" was broken. They taped him up, sent him back onto the field with a broken hand, running on 3 cylinders due to being pulled from his sick bed suffering a gaestro virus which resulted in him losing 5kgs and STILL the man managed to play the entire game and scored 2 tries in the process. Simon was awarded the MOM awards in the 44-16 win and such was his illness he was back in his sick bed before the first celebratory drinks were cracked within the dressing room.

Simon has managed to win the Player of the Year award on 3 occasion in the last 5 seasons taking his tally up to 4 since his first award in 2008.  That sort of effort is 2nd to none among the player ranks within the club and quite frankly this club legend does not deserve to be punished by going through the same old motions and lackluster efforts that his fellow team mates think are acceptable. On top of that he has "supporters" of the club criticizing his efforts which is nothing short of being disrespectful towards such a champion of this organisation.

I love Mannering and i would hate to see him leave this club. What i would hate
to see more is for him to spend his career giving it everything he has and come away without tasting success at NRL level. It's time for the man to put himself first and club second, walk away from his contract and sign with a club that will offer him the success and recognition this man deserves.

Written by Mike Litoris

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