NRL: Titans not so mighty but Warriors wary

By David Skipwith

Mannering says team has moved on after last week’s heavy defeat by the Roosters

Simon Mannering expects a tough examination at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images
Simon Mannering expects a tough examination at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors captain Simon Mannering insists his side can't afford to take the struggling Gold Coast Titans lightly when they meet in Sunday's match at Mt Smart Stadium.

The visitors may be understrength and out of finals contention but Mannering says they are a tough side who have proven difficult to overcome in recent clashes.

It took a gritty second-half effort for the Warriors to turn a 16-14 halftime deficit into a 24-16 round 11 victory, while they only just scraped home in both of their 2013 meetings (25-24 and 24-22).

"Last time we played them they had a few guys out but they play bloody tough and compete right throughout the whole game and we only just managed to get the win then, so we're expecting a very tough one," Mannering said.

The side has moved on from last Sunday's heavy defeat to the Sydney Roosters and although reluctant to single out any individuals, Mannering attributes their recent drop in form to a lack of forward momentum.

With the Warriors pack having been dominated by the Roosters forwards, he accepted it was hard for the halves to engineer any effective attacks.

"We just haven't played good enough as a unit. It hasn't been individuals or certain positions, it's been us as a team and probably us forwards. We haven't laid a very good platform for those guys to play off the back of and that's probably hurt us the most. The first couple of days [afterwards] we were pretty down and you're pretty dirty on yourself but once we got back into training we addressed that and it was a matter of moving on."

Mannering, who turned 28 yesterday, knows more than anyone involved with the club what it's like to be fighting for survival at this stage of the season, having been in a similar near sudden-death predicament last year.

Clawing their way up the ladder from 10th position to secure a finals berth for the first time since 2011 is not impossible, and Mannering felt the team owed it to coach Andrew McFadden to achieve that.

"We want to finish the year strongly otherwise those six weeks off you have feel pretty ordinary. There's still a lot to play for and it starts on Sunday."

- NZ Herald

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