Time for Warriors to move on from tough week, says Simon Mannering
Simon Mannering says he's been able to move on from the Warriors' 26-10 loss to the Knights last weekend, but it wasn't easy.
It was perhaps the worst performance of the season against the club that looks set to pick up the NRL's wooden spoon for the third straight year, but the players are left with no choice but to dust themselves off and move on to Sunday's game against the Raiders.
That result ended any hope of the Warriors finishing in the top eight and they've got to get through four meaningless games before the season ends.
Mannering, who has played 276 games for the club, admitted it wasn't easy to get over the Knights defeat.
"To be honest, it was hard," Mannering said.
"Especially the first couple of days after the game because it was so disappointing.
"But you snap out of it and I'm now very much past it. You have to be, you have to move on.
"The best thing for us is to concentrate on the next game and make sure we put ourselves in a position to get a good result.
"Obviously, the finals are out of the picture, but any time you play in the NRL for the Warriors there's everything to play for - your family, team mates, the club.
"The next four weeks is going to be when our diehard supporters are sticking with us, those are the ones you want to play for."
As frustrating as it is for the media, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney rarely opens up in interviews.
But in last weekend's post-match press conference he criticised some players for not trying hard enough.
It did lead to some criticism of Kearney for publicly lambasting his players, but Mannering said he didn't have a problem with what his coach said.
"The performance spoke for itself, not much needed to be said, but what he did say hit home," Mannering said.
"How we played just wasn't acceptable. I know we'd not got the results the weeks before but we were in the battle with some good teams and were able to compete, but last weekend I did feel that.
"That's frustrating and sad for the club and our supporters."
Mannering also felt it was good for Kearney to be honest with fans. They'd been through enough over the years and there was no point sugar-coating the result.
"You don't want him to be saying one thing to us and then something else to others," Mannering said.
"We're all grown men and criticism is good when it's needed and when it's the honest truth.
"I don't think anything is being held against him from the players. We're the players that warranted that statement and the only ones we've got to blame are ourselves."
The crowd of 9771 that turned up for the Warriors' last home game, against the Sharks a fortnight ago, was the lowest at Mt Smart Stadium in four years.
It wouldn't be surprising if there was a smaller turnout on Sunday, but for those who did come along, Mannering hoped the team could put on an entertaining game of footy.
"It's for ourselves as well," he said.
"We know we've put in a lot of work in this year, it hasn't shown on the field as much as we'd like, but it will speak volumes about this group in how we play these next four weeks.
"There are guys who won't be here next year that have been here for a long time, there's so much to play for and we've got to show that on the field."