Simon Mannering is the Warriors’ all-time appearances record-holder with 280 games and will go close to becoming the first player to break the magical 300-game barrier for the club in 2018. Canberra and Warriors great Ruben Wiki is the only other New Zealander to turn out 300 times in the premiership. An early-season injury may see the backrow workhorse fall just short, however.
The top pointscorer in Warriors history with 775, Shaun Johnson is an outside chance of breaking the 1,000-point barrier – though only Ivan Cleary (242 in 2002) and James Maloney (206 in 2011) have topped 200 points in a season for the club.
Johnson should also climb up the Warriors’ all-time tries and appearances leaderboards. The most-capped current player after Mannering with 143 games, Johnson needs to run out just 17 times in 2018 to break into the top 10. And with 59 tries, Johnson is on the verge of overtaking the fourth-ranked Francis Meli (60) and is only four touchdowns behind the third-ranked Mannering.
Issac Luke needs just 18 NRL appearances to hit the 250-game milestone. The veteran hooker has 189 games for South Sydney and 43 games for the Warriors to his name.
Peta Hiku should reach the 100-game mark if he stays injury free, boasting 81 games for Manly and Penrith to date. A haul of 16 tries or more this season will also see the versatile back bring up 50 four-pointers NRL career tries.
Gerard Beale (45) and Blake Ayshford (47) are also within reach of 50 career tries.
David Fusitu’a, the Warriors’ top tryscorer in 2017, has a healthy career strike-rate of 32 tries in 57 games and will break into the club’s all-time top 10 with eight tries. A tally of 18 tries or more – which seems a good chance based on his brilliant finishing outside Hiku during the trials – would see Fusitu’a became just the ninth player to score a half-century of ‘meat pies’ for the Warriors.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (30), Ken Maumalo (41) and Albert Vete (44) will be eyeing off 50 first-grade appearances for the Warriors in 2018. Late-blooming forwards Leivaha Pulu (45), James Gavet (37) and Ligi Sao (34) can bring up 50 games in the NRL this year.
Tuivasa-Sheck needs 11 touchdowns to hit the 50-try mark in the NRL.
The Warriors’ Round 12 clash with South Sydney at Mt Smart Stadium will be the club’s 300th premiership game on New Zealand soil. They have played 265 games at Mt Smart Stadium (for 153 wins, one draw and 111 losses) and 28 games at other NZ venues (for six wins, one draw and 21 losses).
If the Warriors start the season 0-3, they will create an unwanted new club record of 12 consecutive losses after going down in their last nine games in 2017. Ominously, the current record of 11 straight defeats was ‘achieved’ twice – in 2012-13 and 2015-16 – after following up eight-game losing streaks to finish a season with three more losses to start the next campaign.
Categories: Team News + Stats, WARRIORS NEWS
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