Tag Archive: Simon Mannering


For the next 26 weeks of the NRL Dream Team Competition, I’ll be reviewing the rounds top performers.  To make it in this list each week a player must have a season average of 45 or more and score 50 points or more in the review round.  Mid season, I’ll review the top performers in all the key positions using a different criteria for each position.

There were mixed results across the board in round 1, a few players ventured into the 40’s but only eight broke into the 50’s.  Some high priced stars were disappointing – Corey Parker, Nathan Hindmarsh and Paul Gallen and on the other side of the coin Ashley Harrison (62) and Aiden Tolman (60) were exceptional – the only players in the round to break 60 and for Ashley Harrison, the only Titan to break 40. 

Johnathan Thurston returned to Dream Team form; scoring 55 points and no doubt will make the Cowboys faithful very happy.  It was a case of what could have been though – JT loosing 16 points from mistakes, the worst from the Top Performers.  Continue reading

Veteran fullback Lance Hohaia and skipper Simon Mannering make their first appearances as the Warriors roll out their strongest team, excluding Sam Rapira and Manu Vatuvei, in the fourth and final trial on Saturday. A scan cleared senior prop Rapira of structural damage to his heavily strapped wrist, which he injured while captaining the 30-0 win over Queensland Cup side Burleigh in Whangarei, the club’s third trial success last weekend. “He won’t play this week but he should be fine,” relieved coach Ivan Cleary said of his No.1 front-rower, who missed a large chunk of last season with a busted knee. Strike weapon Vatuvei will likely be preserved from a Manly Sea Eagles battering at North Harbour Stadium after pulling up ‘sore’ at training on Tuesday. That’s handy, as Cleary can test out undecided finishers. Continue reading

Warriors trial positions, a closer look …

Vodafone Warriors standoff James Maloney will make his first appearance of the year in Saturday’s NRL trial against Queensland Cup side the Burleigh Bears at Whangarei’s Toll Stadium. After missing the Greymouth match against Newcastle, the club’s 2010 NRL Young Player of the Year was an original selection for last Saturday’s encounter with Parramatta in Rotorua, only to be ruled out through illness. Formerly with Parramatta and Melbourne, Maloney (24) had an outstanding 2010 season when he scored 188 points including 10 tries in his first full NRL campaign. It put him in contention for Dally M recognition and he was on the shortlist for the standoff of the year at the Rugby League International Federation’s awards announced at Eden Park last November. Maloney also won selection in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII which travelled to Port Moresby to play Papua New Guinea. Continue reading

The Warriors will welcome skipper Simon Mannering back for Sunday’s home match against the Rabbitohs. Mannering who has missed a number of games because of a hamstring injury was originally named to play North Queensland but pulled out late last week because he didn’t believe he had recovered sufficiently. Coach Ivan Cleary rated Mannering a virtual certainty to lead the Warriors against South Sydney, and the second rower agreed he’s on target to start. “I’m as close as I can be to 100 percent,” he said. “I trained most of last week, but I just wasn’t quite there. I think it was the best to miss that one and come in ready for the next game.” Mannering, 23, has now sat out for seven weeks, a stretch that included the Kiwis’ Anzac Test in Melbourne 10 days ago. He first suffered the hamstring injury in January and it forced him out of contention for the Warriors’ three pre-season trials, as well as the opening round defeat to Gold Coast. He made his debut as the club’s new skipper the following week, leading the Warriors to victory over Cronulla. However, in the next round and the win over Brisbane, he lasted only until midway through the first half, pounding the ground after the injury flared up again as he was scoring a try. “This is the first hammy I’ve ever done and it’s the last one I want to do,” he said. “It’s very, very frustrating.”

Warriors almost back to full strength

Captain Simon Mannering, winger Manu Vatuvei and halfback Brett Seymour have been named along with debutant prop Mataupu Poching for the New Zealand Warriors’ National Rugby League (NRL) match against North Queensland in Auckland on Saturday. Mannering and Vatuvei have had restricted game time this season because of hamstring injuries while Seymour has been out of action with a broken thumb since his club debut against Gold Coast in the opening round. “We’ve been waiting patiently for Simon, Manu and Brett to return and it’s a great boost for us to have them back straight after the bye round,” coach Ivan Cleary said today. “All three are obviously hugely important to the side for a whole range of reasons. We’ve had to battle through recently without them but at last we have some better news in terms of our injured players.” Poching has been named to team up with Kiwis prop Sam Rapira in the starting front row while the other change in the packs sees Mannering replace Lewis Brown, with Ben Matulino moving to the interchange bench. With Seymour restored at halfback, James Maloney replaces Joel Moon at standoff and Kevin Locke comes in on the right wing for Patrick Ah Van, who has a broken jaw and is expected to be out of action for four weeks.

Simon Mannering targets Rd 10 for return

Mannering is still out with a hamstring injury, but is now targeting a return in round 10 against the Cowboys. However, he will be forced to endure tomorrow night’s match against Canberra and the Kiwis test against Australia next Friday. Mannering says the extra week off with the bye to come should see him right for the North Queensland match in mid-May. Frustration is setting in, with Mannering having played just one and a half games since taking over the captaincy and he says it is hardly the ideal start to the job. As for the test match, he points out that opportunities to play for New Zealand are rare, so it is frustrating to have to sit it out. He has been spending a lot of time rehabilitating with Manu Vatuvei, and the big winger is close to a return as well.

Ah Van back for reshuffled Warriors backline

Back Patrick Ah Van will make his first National Rugby League (NRL) appearance of the season for the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday night in a reshuffled backline. The Warriors face Canberra in Auckland and coach Ivan Cleary today named Ah Van on one wing, allowing Brent Tate to revert to his usual spot at centre. Utility Lance Hohaia moves from five-eighth to fullback in place of Wade McKinnon, who drops to a five-man bench, while Joel Moon shifts from centre to the No 6 jersey. There is also a forced change in the starting forward pack, with Ben Matulino replacing Jacob Lillyman, who lasted only 16 minutes of the 6-40 loss to Melbourne on Sunday. Lillyman has been diagnosed with a foot fracture, which will leave him sidelined for six to eight weeks, and he joins an injury list that already includes other frontliners in Simon Mannering, Steve Price, Brett Seymour and Manu Vatuvei.

Warriors injury update

The Warriors high injury count this season has seen their conditioning staff analyse their approach. Team doctor John Mayhew says they have done plenty of self analysis and found that most of the injuries were just bad luck. The Warriors have, however, finally had some good news. Lewis Brown is fit for selection this weekend after an x-ray cleared him of a fracture in his foot. Michael Luck will also return, Manu Vatuvei is still two weeks away, while Simon Mannering and Brett Seymour will take a week longer. Former captain Steve Price has just resumed running, but is still several weeks away from returning.

Editors Note: So much for my Steve Price theory!

Warriors receive more bad Luck

Centre Brent Tate has become the Vodafone Warriors’ newest captain after confirmation today that a hand injury had ruled loose forward Micheal Luck out of Saturday night’s fifth-round NRL clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. Team doctor John Mayhew said Luck, who led the Vodafone Warriors against Gold Coast in round one and Manly last Sunday, had broken his right index finger. “He had problems with the hand on Sunday and x-rays after the game confirmed he has a break in the finger,” he said. “He’ll have this week off to give the injury time to settle down.” With Luck out, Ben Matulino moves off the bench to join Lewis Brown in the second row while Lillyman switches to loose forward. Ukuma Ta’ai, who has been playing for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup, will make his first NRL appearance of the season. “We seem to be getting tested on the injury front every week but that’s just the way it goes,” said Cleary. Apart from Luck, Mannering and Price, others still injured include winger Manu Vatuvei, first-choice halfback Brett Seymour, Isaac John, Shaun Johnson and Elijah Taylor.

Warriors stars looking at two rounds

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary is expecting to be without captain Simon Mannering and star winger Manu Vatuvei for his team’s next two NRL matches. Mannering and Vatuvei both limped off with hamstring injuries early in the stunning 48-16 win at Suncorp Stadium, while senior prop Steve Price (heel) is still a fortnight away from his first game in 2010. “They’re probably (out for) a couple of weeks … they’re obviously missing this week and probably next. They’re big losses without a doubt.” Cleary said. Aussie Micheal Luck will lead the Warriors in Mannering’s absence.