Kiwi #779 and Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been named the Player of the Year for the second season in a row at the Warriors’ annual awards in Auckland tonight.
The 25-year-old fullback is the inaugural winner of the Simon Mannering Medal, announced tonight to honour the retiring club legend following his 300th NRL appearance in Friday’s win over Canberra.
Tuivasa-Sheck is the fourth player to take out the award more than once following five-time winner and Kiwi #731 Mannering and two-time winners Steve Price and Ben Matulino.
The Kiwi international also had the support of fans, claiming the People’s Choice Award which is voted on by the public, while he remains a front-runner to take out the Dally M Award for the NRL’s player of the year to be named later this month ahead of the grand final.
The recognition comes after Tuivasa-Sheck re-signed with the Warriors for four years just before the season started before going on to play 22 of 24 games, leading the club to their first finals appearance in seven years.
The Warriors capped their regular season campaign and celebrated Mannering’s 300th appearance with a tense 20-16 win over the Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium to give them a 15-9 record, tied for the second best record in the club’s 24-year history.
Along the way, Tuivasa-Sheck has carved out a total of 4058 metres (fourth best in the NRL), averaging 184 metres a game including 1093 post-contact metres. In the round 23 win over Newcastle, Tuivasa-Sheck made 338 metres, while he leads the way in kick return metres (1330) and sits fifth for most tackle breaks (109).
“I want to thank everyone who played a part in choosing this award,” said Tuivasa-Sheck.
“It just comes down to my team. Thank you boys for all of your support.
“It’s been unreal, always coming in every day to training and competing and helping me to become a better player.
“I appreciate it, this one’s for the team.”
The other nominees for the Player of the Year gong were front rower Agnatius Paasi, hooker Issac Luke, bench utility Jazz Tevaga and left wing Ken Maumalo.
Meanwhile, captain James Bell collected the two awards for the Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership side – as the ISP Team Man of the Year and ISP Player of the Year.
The Warriors NRL Rookie of the Year is second rower Isaiah Papali’i while five-eighth Blake Green claimed the Clubman of the Year award in his first season in Auckland.
Long-time team manager Laurie Hale was named the Club Person of the Year and Jayden Penerate was recognised as the Sir Peter Leitch Member of the Year.
WARRIORS AWARDS 2018
Sir Peter Leitch Member of the Year – Jayden Penerata
People’s Choice Award – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
ISP Team Man of the Year – James Bell
NRL Rookie of the Year – Isaiah Papali’i
Club Person of the Year – Laurie Hale
Clubman of the Year – Blake Green
ISP Player of the Year – James Bell
NRL Player of the Year – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Simon Mannering Medal)
By NZ Herald – David Skipwith
By stuff.co.nz – Jackson Thomas
Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith took time after his side’s 12-6 win over the Warriors to honour one of his greatest adversaries, Simon Mannering.
The former club captain announced last week that he would be hanging up the boots at season’s end, after 14 years in the NRL.
Following Sunday’s match at Mt Smart, Smith paid tribute to a man he said had been a great addition not only to the Warriors, but to the game of rugby league.
“I think Simon has been one of the most consistent players, not just for the Warriors but in the NRL, throughout my career,” he said.
“You know what you you’re going to get from Simon as an opposition player. We have had some great battles over the years but I think aside from his abilities as a football player he is just a lovely man.
“I spoke with Ryan Hoffman (former Warriors captain) about his time over here and he said Simon was the nicest bloke you’d ever meet, very down to earth.
“It’s been great to share some part of his career and he’s been a great addition to rugby league.”
In keeping with the theme of the past few weeks, where the Warriors called departing players Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday into their post match huddle, the home side took a moment to thank Hoffman for his services to the club and the game as he too nears retirement at the end of this season.
Hoffman was also presented with a plaque on behalf of the club.
“They had a little presentation to Ryan out there on the field, that’s really nice,” Smith said.
“I know his time here was very special to him and his family. It’s nice to see that side of the game. Everyone enjoys the 80 minutes of action where it can be quite brutal at times but the camaraderie there is great to see.”
Now seventh on the competition ladder, the Warriors will travel away to face the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.
Former Kiwis captain and record-holding Vodafone Warriors stalwart Simon Mannering has today announced the 2018 NRL campaign will mark the end of his 14-season career with the club.
The 31-year-old’s decision follows his announcement five weeks ago that he had retired from international football after 45 Tests for the Kiwis from 2006-2017.
Nelson-raised Mannering said he had wrestled with his decision for several weeks.
“It has taken a while to reach this point but I’m now comfortable with the decision I’ve finally made,” he said.
“I’m really grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for giving me the time I needed. It’s a big call when you consider retirement, even more so having played my whole career for this great club.
“It’s not over yet, though. There are still a lot of games to be played and I want to do all I can to help the team and the coaching staff in our bid to finish this season as well as we possibly can.”
Mannering was 18 when he made his Vodafone Warriors debut off the bench in the 30-18 10th anniversary clash against Brisbane at Mount Smart Stadium on June 26, 2005.
On Sunday he’ll make his 294th appearance when the club marks its Michael Moore Trophy match against Melbourne with “The Greatest Vodafone Warriors Charity Day”. It leaves him on track to become the first player to make 300 appearances for the club and only the second New Zealander to join the 300-club after former Canberra and Vodafone Warriors great Ruben Wiki.
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Mannering’s decision marked a sad day for the club.
“I’d love Simon to play on forever but sadly the time comes when players have to make the call to finish,” he said.
“I know how difficult this would have been for him. He loves playing footy and he loves this club so it’s a really significant day for him and for all of us.
“Being the type of person he is Simon doesn’t want any fuss made about it. That’s not his style but he deserves all the accolades and attention he’ll receive.”
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George paid tribute to Mannering for his contribution to the club.
“It’s difficult to put into words just how much Simon has done for the Vodafone Warriors on and off the field and what he means to us and to members and fans alike,” he said.
“Above all he’s a champion player and a champion person who epitomises what a Vodafone Warrior is all about.
“It’s a tough day for all of us knowing this will be Simon’s last season, more so because of the loyalty he has shown by being one of that select group of players who have been with just one club their whole career.
“This Sunday gives everyone a great opportunity to be at Mount Smart Stadium to show their appreciation for Simon.”
While Mannering is not a man for stats, the numbers emphasise the magnitude of his efforts across 14 seasons. He has been on the field almost 22,000 minutes – or close to 370 hours – while carrying the ball more than 27,000 metres (an average of 95 metres a game) and making more than 9300 tackles (an average of about 32 tackles a game).
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) wishes to honour Kiwi #731 Simon Mannering for his outstanding service to the New Zealand Kiwis and the NZRL upon the announcement that he has retired from international rugby league.
Mannering has pulled on the Kiwis jersey 45 times making him one of the most capped New Zealand internationals behind Ruben Wiki (55), Gary Freeman (46) and Stacey Jones (46).
Simon epitomises the values of the NZRL and brought masses of passion and pride to the side each time he appeared in black and white.
After talking with Kiwis Coach Michael Maguire, he was confident that his time to hang up the boots had come.
“I’ve had this on my mind for a while,” said Mannering.
“The idea of taking a Test to the United States is really exciting for the game but I think it’s a good time for younger players to be given every opportunity.
“I was honoured to wear the Kiwi jersey every time and it’s been a huge privilege having the chance to play alongside so many outstanding players. It was also a special honour to captain my country.”
Maguire looks forward to his on-going involvement with the Kiwis as a mentor and knowledgeable leader of the game.
“In his years of being a Kiwi, there is no doubt that Simon has made his country proud. There is a reason so many budding rugby league players idolise his abilities on the field and the way he holds himself off the field makes him a true Kiwi role model.
“His leadership has developed and mentored a lot of young and up-and-coming players not only at club level, but at international level too. He has also left his own legacy on the new generation of Kiwi players coming through.
“Sometime down the track, I hope to work alongside Simon as his knowledge and expertise as a Kiwi international will be highly beneficial in and around the squad,” Maguire said.
As a second-rower, back-rower or centre, and being dubbed as ‘Mr. Consistent’, Mannering is a defensive specialist that teammates love having near them on the field.
He made his Kiwis debut in 2006 at the Tri Nations tournament playing in every game of the series and was named Kiwis Rookie of the Year.
In 2008, Mannering was named in the Kiwis Rugby League World Cup squad scoring two tries in their second match against Papua New Guinea. His Kiwis career highlight came when New Zealand was victorious at the 2008 World Cup beating the Kangaroos 34-20.
He was selected in the Kiwis squad for the 2010 Four Nations tournament and played off the bench in the Four Nations warm-up Test against Samoa at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium, which the Kiwis won 50–6.
During the Four Nations, Mannering featured in all of the Kiwis’ regular tournament games at Second Row. Earning selection in the centres for the Grand Final match against Australia at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, New Zealand won the game 16–12 and the 2010 Four Nations tournament.
He assumed the captaincy from Benji Marshall and led the Kiwis at the 2013 World Cup and at the 2014 Four Nations. In 2014, he was named Kiwis Player of the Year.
Mannering and his team continued their great record in Brisbane with a commanding 26–12 victory in 2015 giving them their first Anzac Test win since 1998.
Following an injury in 2016, Simon resumed his Kiwis career playing in three of the four 2017 Rugby League World Cup games taking his Test caps to 45 and equalling the feats of Kiwi #640 Stephen Kearney.
Joining Mannering in retiring from international rugby league is Kiwi #756 Ben Matulino and Kiwi #768 Russell Packer. The West Tigers teammates played in 23 and seven Tests respectively.
Matulino’s seven year Kiwis career (2009-2015) saw him debut for the New Zealand team during the Four Nations 62-12 win over France. In 2010, he was part of the Four Nations winning Kiwis side and went on to play in the 2011 and 2014 Four Nations, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 ANZAC Tests, and played in five matches of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Packer debuted for the Kiwis in 2011 at a one-off Test against Australia in Newcastle en route to the Four Nations in the United Kingdom and following a turbulent period in his rugby league career, returned to international rugby league at the 2017 ANZAC Test. At the 2017 Rugby League World Cup he played in all four games for the Kiwis and now closes the curtain on his Kiwis career.
Simon Mannering – Kiwi #731 2006 – 2017 45 Tests
Ben Matulino – Kiwi #756 2009 – 2015 23 Tests
Russell Packer – Kiwi #768 2011 – 2017 7 Tests