Milestones come and go and at times, they are not ones to remember but for New Zealand Warriors captain Simon Mannering, his 200th game is one that he will definitely remember.
One of the best players at the club and a fan favourite, Mannering scored two tries in a stellar man-of-the-match performance, to help the Warriors to a comfortable 38-18 win over the Newcastle Knights.
Playing at their traditional home of Mt Smart Stadium for the first time in 2014, their attacking flair and character was on display in front of a home crowd of just over 19,000.
Backed up by solid cameos from the likes of Shaun Johnson, Konrad Hurrell and Sam Tomkins, the Warriors simply had too much class for a Knights side that is struggling in 2014.
The Warriors will take the two points and although coach Andrew McFadden knows they have played better footy, the result is what matters for them.
“It was a really pleasing result in the end,” said McFadden.
“We’ve certainly played better footy but after the week we’ve had, I’m very pleased about getting the two points.”
For the 200-gamer, tries are a rarity so his own performance and that of the team, left the Warriors captain happy.
“Yeah, it was nice to get over the line – don’t get over too often,” said Mannering.
“Just pleased to get the win and it was nice to reflect on that and the milestone after the game.
“The focus was always on the game and getting the job done.”
It was a different story for the Newcastle Knights, though, who failed to score more than 20 points for the eighth time this season.
Despite their failings and relative poor form, the shining light for them has been Tyrone Roberts who was involved in all the tries – 2 try assists and a try of his own.
For Knights coach Wayne Bennett, it was the little things that cost his side, especially once they had fought so hard to get back into the contest.
“It’s sad to put so much into it to put pressure on them and nearly score down the other end, and we just give up a soft try like that,” said Bennett.
“We had three of those today and just kills you when you’re playing quality football teams.”
3. Simon Mannering
2. Konrad Hurrell
1. Shaun Johnson