Not too many months ago Simon Mannering was being feted for playing his 250th NRL appearance and now, just 12 games on, the spotlight is back on him as he sets himself for his record 262nd outing for the Vodafone Warriors.
As so many of his former and current team-mates always say, Mannering stands out for not only sheer depth and breadth of his contribution every time he plays for the club but also for his matchless levels of consistency.
Indeed, Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney says, Mannering’s so-called sub-par performances would be in the very low single digits.
There are stats galore which measure both the volume and efficiency of his work – like 8000 plus tackles, more than 23,500 metres gained and an average 76 minutes on the field throughout his career – but there is no way of marking him in other areas. His capacity for work, his threshold for playing with pain and discomfort plus his utter will under duress and resilience are on another level.
In the later phase of his career, he has been working harder than ever. Since being moved into the middle of the park at the start of the 2015 season, he has been averaging around 45 tackles a game, topping 1000 tackles in both 2015 and 2016.
He carries the ball relentlessly into the teeth of the battle, where only the brave survive, and then moments later he pops up time after time leading the kick chase and invariably cutting down the kick returner in a smothering one-on-one tackle.
Since establishing himself in the side in 2006 after seven games in his rookie year in 2005, he has played 254 of a possible 270 matches.
Seven of the 16 games missed were 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 through injury were once in 2013 and once in 2009 plus two games in 2016 after having his mouth gruesomely torn open against Melbourne.
SIMON MANNERING | A MATTER OF STATS
Matches | 261
Total minutes played | 19,840
Average minutes played | 76.01
Hours played | 330
Tries | 58 (only Manu Vatuvei, Stacey Jones and Francis Meli have more for the club)
Total line breaks | 58
Total tackles | 8014
Average tackles per game | 30.70
Total runs | 2884
Average runs per game | 11.04
Total metres gained | 23,557
Average metres per game | 90.25
Total offloads | 263