Melbourne captain Cameron Smith paid tribute to retiring Warriors forward Simon Mannering following the Storm's 12-6 win at Mt Smart Stadium last night.
The former Kangaroos and Queensland leader praised Mannering's contribution to the Warriors and the wider game after the 294-game veteran announced last week that he would retire at the end of the season.
"He's been one of the most consistent players to play in the competition not just for the Warriors," said Smith.
"In the NRL throughout my career, you just know what you're going to get from Simon as an opposition player.
"He was a captain for a long time for the Warriors and we had some great battles but aside from his ability as a football player he's a lovely person and a lovely man.
"It's been great to share some part of his career as an opposition player and opposing captain.
"He's been a great player for the Warriors but more importantly he's been a great addition to our game and our organisation wants to wish him and his family all the best in retirement."
The Warriors may have missed out on the result but the club continues to win respect for the goodwill shown to retiring players from opposition teams.
In recent weeks the Warriors have welcomed Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston and Broncos veteran Sam Thaiday into their team huddle to congratulate them on their careers.
Following yesterday's match they again took the chance to thank Storm back-rower and former Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman for his contribution to the club during three seasons (2015-2017) in Auckland.
"I've seen they've been doing that with blokes retiring and that just shows that the Warriors are really working hard on and off the field to make what is an already classy organisation even more so," said Hoffman.
"I told them I have a lot of fond memories of the Warriors and for them to do that for me is very humbling and it was a good opportunity for me to congratulate Simon and wish him all the best."
Storm front-rower and former New Zealand test captain Jesse Bromwich was surprised by Mannering's decision to retire and said the respect the Warriors showed to the game's greats made him proud to be a Kiwi.
"I was quite shocked that Simon came out and [announced his retirement]," said Bromwich.
"I still think he's going around really well. He's just that type of guy who doesn't want to let his teammates down.
"For me, having been a teammate of his and having played against him, he's just the ultimate competitor and someone I've looked up to for a very long time."
Bromwich said he was taken aback by the Warriors' move to honour and farewell some of the NRL's best players.
"I love it. As an outsider looking in I think it shows respect to guys that have done massive things in our game like Johnathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday and Ryan Hoffman.
"The Warriors boys showing respect like that, for me that's just a Kiwi thing and it makes me proud to be a Kiwi."
Smith shared Bromwich's sentiment and said it was great to see the game being celebrated in a positive manner.
"It's nice to see that side of the game," said Smith.
"Everyone enjoys the 80 minutes of action where it can be quite brutal at times but that's a great sign of our game, the camaraderie that's shown when the games not on."