Captain Mannering joins 200 club
Simon Mannering isn't much for the fanfare that sometimes accompanies rugby league.
His off-field persona mirrors his on-field one, in that he prefers to get the job done and leave the celebrating to the fans.
But this Sunday sees Mannering clock up a double milestone as a New Zealand Warrior, playing his 200th NRL game and 100th as captain of the club, and there is no hiding what a special feat it is.
The 27-year-old back-rower will become only the second Warrior to appear in 200 games for the club, following legendary halfback Stacey Jones, and the first ever man to captain the side on 100 occasions.
"I guess it is more something you look back on when you have finished playing, but obviously I will savour the moment," Mannering said ahead of the game against the Knights at Mt Smart Stadium.
"It has been a privilege to play that many games for the club, and I have my family coming up so it will be a proud day for them.
"I can't say I saw it coming as a young fella, but I have really enjoyed my time at the club."
Mannering wasn't the only one who didn't forecast a record-breaking career for himself at first.
Veteran centre Jerome Ropati, who called an end to his own 12-season career earlier this week, said Mannering didn't immediately stand out as a future star when he first showed up in 2005.
"I remember before he came into the Warriors he was a skinny kid with long hair, he looked like a skater and didn't look anything like the guy he is now and the man he has matured into," Ropati laughed.
"He is a guy who deserves that and more, he will be a legend of the club."
Not only has Mannering proven to be one of the most durable players in the NRL, he has established himself as a reliable leader since becoming the youngest ever Warriors captain in 2010 at age 23.
"If you look at the win percentage [since becoming captain] I don't think it would be that good," Mannering laughed.
"But hopefully I have improved or changed over the years for the better. You are never the finished product so I probably still have things to work on as a player and a captain."
While Mannering made light of the situation, teammate Ben Matulino said his on-field leadership was second to none.
"When Simon talks you are obviously doing something wrong and everyone listens and responds better," Matulino said.
"The way he looks after our team is a lot different to others, he is calm and not like Pricey (Steve Price) who was shouting behind the posts.
"It is no surprise that Simon has got this far, you could see it from a mile away."
The only man to win the club's NRL Player of the Year Award on three occasions, Mannering has been typically reliable so far in 2014.
Averaging 31 tackles and only one miss per game this season, he had his best performance last week against the Gold Coast, running for 124 metres, making 33 tackles and scoring a crucial second-half try.
Having recently penned a new four-year-deal, Mannering is on track to surpass Stacey Jones (261 games) as the most-capped player in Warriors history.