Captain Mannering: my style won't change

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 09:50 26/05/2013
Simon Mannering
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CAPTAIN'S STRUGGLE: Warriors skipper Simon Mannering had to oversee a 62-6 drubbing at Penrith.

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Warriors skipper Simon Mannering has defended his captaincy style, with critics continuing to claim the tough second rower isn't vocal enough on the field.

Mannering is into his fourth year as Warriors captain, having led the first-grade side to the NRL Grand Final just two seasons ago.

Yet this year, the 26-year-old finds his team with a 2-win, 8-loss record, the worst in the NRL - and heads into today's clash at Mt Smart Stadium against the Knights with a 62-6 trashing by the Panthers only a week behind him.

A number of league critics have hit out at Mannering's style of command. The Kiwis skipper is a quieter presence on the field, preferring to let his actions inspire his team rather than delivering a rark-up under the goalposts.

Mannering said he will continue that approach, speaking up "when something needs to be said".

"I don't tell other players what to do," he told Sunday News. "I definitely speak when I think something needs to be said. If something needs to be brought up, I do.

"I don't think you have to rant and rave and throw your arms around to get your point across. We're all grown men, and we all know what's right and what's wrong on the footy field.

"I don't know if that would have changed the scoreline [last] weekend. If people see it that way, then so be it. I know a lot of these things need to come from within individuals as well - wanting to perform well, and hopefully earn some respect back."

Mannering admits last week's loss to the Panthers was one of his worst moments at a club he has played for since 2005.

"It was probably one of the worst performances I've been involved with at the club - and that hurts. You know you let a lot of people down and that's probably what hurts the most. We've got to make sure what happened against Penrith never happens again, " he said.

"You do have to put it behind you, but you have to keep it in the back of your mind that we don't want to be in that place again."

Victory over the Knights, fresh off a 44-8 destruction of the Bulldogs last weekend, will help do that.

Mannering said he and his fellow team-mates must "look within" to turn the Warriors' season around.

"We don't have to look at too many other people - it's all within ourselves," he said. "We've got to perform like a team, and a team that knows it can play good football."

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