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Simon Mannering leads the team out. Photo:

Ever-humble Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering concedes he never has been and never will be a student of his own statistical achievements. They don’t particularly matter to him.

But while they might be immaterial to him the numbers are an impressive part of the overall picture as one of New Zealand sport’s most-respected athletes eyes twin milestones when he leads the Vodafone Warriors against Newcastle at Mount Smart Stadium tomorrow (4.00pm kick-off: match day sponsor: Canterbury of New Zealand).

He’ll become only the second player to appear in 200 NRL matches for the club and the first to reach 100 games as captain.

That the two marks will arrive in the same game and at the club’s first game of the season at Mount Smart Stadium adds further meaning to the occasion; that he is reaching the 200-100 marks at the age of just 27 and as a player who is on the field the full 80 minutes almost every game provides even more lustre.

Current and former team-mates, fellow Kiwi internationals and rivals including England international Sam Burgess have underlined their respect for Mannering with video messages of support; especially poignant is a tribute from Mannering’s long-time back row team-mate Micheal Luck. The All Blacks, Valerie Adams and Joseph Parker are among others who have sent their best wishes:

Many of Mannering’s qualities as a player and captain can’t be measured.

Some of those that can be are the number of runs he has had across 199 games and 10 seasons so far, the metres gained carrying the ball – almost always tough runs it should be added – and the tackles he has made. As a captain he has a 52 wins-47 losses record in 99 matches.

Courtesy of NRL Stats this snapshot captures Mannering’s key statistics:

Matches: 199

Tries: 45

Total Line Breaks: 47

Total Tackles: 5400

Average Tackles per game: 27.13

Total Runs: 2134

Average Runs per game: 10.7

Total Metres Gained: 17,326

Average Metres Gained per game: 87.07

Total Offloads: 191

Total Tackles Breaks: 324

Total Try Assists: 17

Total Line Break Assists: 22

There is much more of the same to come for Mannering has recently re-signed with the Vodafone Warriors to the end of the 2018 season. That will extend his career to 14 seasons, a record for a Vodafone Warrior.

In his debut season in 2005 Mannering was used seven times before establishing himself in the eighth-round clash against Canterbury-Bankstown in 2006.

Of a possible 206 games since then he has missed only 14, seven of those in 2010 when he was troubled by a hamstring injury and another five late in 2012 when he had an ankle complaint. Outside those games the only times he has been absent were once last year and once in 2009.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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