If there’s any concerns over whether the hoopla over Simon Mannering’s 300th NRL appearance and final home game will distract the Warriors from the task at hand tonight, a flashback to the great man’s 200th first-grade outing should ease them.
Mannering became just the second player to reach the 200-game milestone for the Warriors in their 2014 clash with Newcastle at Mount Smart – which also double as the ultra-consistent back-rower’s 100th game as captain.
He needed only 10 minutes to make a day to remember, producing a remarkable kick-and-chase try to put the Warriors on the board. Mannering had a double just before halftime after running onto a flat Feleti Mateo pass, pushing the Warriors out to a 22-12 lead at the break.
Following a nervy period as the Warriors clung to a four-point lead, the hosts stormed to a 38-18 win with three tries in the last 17 minutes – including a second to Manu Vatuvei.
Using that performance as the paradigm, expect a fairytale hat-trick from the 32-year-old Warriors icon against the Raiders tonight.