David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

Simon Mannering: Warriors need to close gap between best and worst

Manu Vatuvei celebrates a try to Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors during the round 13 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images.
Manu Vatuvei celebrates a try to Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors during the round 13 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images.

Back-rower Simon Mannering says it's imperative the Warriors continue to improve while aiming to reduce the margin between their best and worst performances.

While last week's 36-18 victory over Brisbane gave the side some much needed confidence, the near-complete performance also reinforced to the players the need to execute their individual roles to help the team achieve their best form.

Mannering says reproducing that same effort, commitment and attention to detail in today's NRL clash against Newcastle is vital to the side achieving any sustained success.

"We need everyone to play their part and we definitely got that last week," said Mannering.

"That's probably the biggest lesson we took as a team, we've all got to play a role and when we do, good things will happen performance-wise and results-wise.

"It's only one game and we've got to string them (good performances) together."

While the Warriors had taken a more relaxed approach into last week's match, Mannering insisted their drastic form turnaround was not the result of any major changes.

Even when recent results were eluding them, the players and coaching staff were satisfied with the squad's application and work ethic at training and how they prepared for matches.

Getting their campaign back on track was the result of the Warriors ticking all the right boxes with their own game, and taking advantage of any momentum that came their way during the game.

"We've been preparing pretty good for a long time and it hasn't been coming together on the field," he said.

"Sometimes there's not much between a good performance and a bad performance, even though they might look completely different.

"There are only a couple of things that need to go against you or not go your way, and that can change pretty quickly.

"It was nice to gel as a team but there's no point doing it for one week and not the next so we've definitely got to carry that on.

"It's about getting our worst game and our best game pretty close together performance-wise, so that's the key for us going forward."

Meanwhile, the former Warriors captain was unaware hooker Issac Luke was preparing for his 200th NRL match, but spoke highly of his club and Kiwis teammate.

After a slow start to the season that saw him overlooked by selectors for last month's transtasman test, Luke wreaked havoc against the Broncos with numerous darts out of dummyhalf helping the Warriors to get a roll-on in attack.

"Is he? That's awesome! Two hundred games is a massive achievement and I'm really proud of him.

"It's still early days for Issac here. It's hard for him in the hooking role, it's not just how well he plays, but how other players gel around him.

"Someone new, coming into that role, you can't expect them to be the best player straight away. There's so many combinations there and he's on the ball more than anyone.

"He's a big signing for the club and everyone expects more than what's actually needed from him for the team sometimes.

"He's been playing a role and he's been getting better and he will continue to get better."

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