Warriors forward Simon Mannering.

Simon says if Warriors take Panther cubs lightly they'll get bitten

Veteran forward Simon Mannering is adamant the Warriors cannot afford to take Penrith lightly on Friday even with NSW halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary missing.

The fourth-placed Panthers, who have the Warriors breathing down their neck in fifth, have given the responsibility to Tyrone May and Jarome Luai to display some attacking flair at home after a couple of disappointing losses.

The Warriors will also be looking to redeem themselves after their 18-15 loss to Cronulla at Mt Smart Stadium.

Mannering said the visitors would be looking to combat the unstructured attacking plays from 22-year-old May and 21-year-old Luai.

"It's going to be a hard game no matter what," Mannering said.

"I think it makes the Panthers more dangerous (without Maloney and Cleary).

"They are already a side that love to play second-phase football with an offload and a lot of ad-lib.

"So with their halves playing Origin it will give them (May and Luai) even more license to do so and that's a harder team to defend than someone who is really structured."

The Warriors will be without injured forwards Tohu Harris (knee) and Bunty Afoa (elbow). who are set to spend up to six weeks on the sideline.

Warriors back-rower Tohu Harris.
Warriors back-rower Tohu Harris. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Mannering will shift to second row replacing Harris, while Adam Blair returns from his one-game suspension covering Afoa.

"It isn't ideal [losing Harris and Afoa] but you can't do anything about it,"Mannering said.

"Those two guys have been a big part of our performances this year and they will be missed.

"We had it throughout the year with a number of guys and everyone that has come in to replace the injured guys have done a really good job so I expect much the same this Friday."

The Warriors will be desperate to put last week's loss behind them and seize the chance to leapfrog the Panthers on the ladder.

"No team likes back-to-back loses," Mannering said.

"We've prepared really well so there no reason why we can't win.

"This weekend we're just concentrating on us being better from last Friday – tidying up a few areas."