Micheal Luck might work for North Queensland these days but the former Warrior skipped Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston's final match to surprise Simon Mannering after his 300th game on Friday.

Luck is a human resources manager at the Cowboys but passed up the chance to attend Thurston's farewell game on the Gold Coast last night to be in Auckland to mark Mannering's milestone match.

The 36-year-old was thrilled to catch up with his good mate in the moments following the Warriors' tense 20-16 win over Canberra.

"He was a bit surprised but he was a little bit sore when I saw him from the [sternum] injury," said Luck.


"But it was a terrific night and I'm so happy for him. The time he was on the field, he was good, and then the boys dug in and got the result for him, so it was tremendous."

Luck shared similar qualities to Mannering throughout his 226-game career that saw him play five seasons with the Cowboys (2001-05) before carving out another seven with the Warriors (2006-12).

Like Mannering, he was renowned as one of the Warriors' toughest campaigners, playing more than 50 consecutive games for the club and making an NRL record 74 tackles in one match in 2009.

Luck is also close to Thurston but said it wasn't a tough decision to miss the former Australian great's swansong at Cbus Super Stadium.

Micheal Luck congratulates Simon Mannering. Photo / Photosport
Micheal Luck congratulates Simon Mannering. Photo / Photosport

"Not really. I played a lot of footy with Simon and we're good friends," he said. "I was lucky enough to be in Townsville last week when Jonno played his last home game and that was a massive occasion.

"I said to Simon a long time ago that I was a bit dirty I couldn't get over for his 250th because I always had in the back of my mind that he might start to slow down a little bit towards the end of his career, given the way he's played.

"I told him I'd always come over if he got to 300. I'm just over the moon for him that he got to hit 300 before he hangs the boots up.

"It's a tremendous achievement. He'll join some legends of the game, as he is, and that's how he should be spoken about. Hopefully this is a nice little kick-start for the side to go on and do something special this year, which I think they've got an opportunity to do."


The 2006 and 2007 Warriors Clubman of the Year and 2009 Player of the Year was one of the last to leave the sheds after the win over the Raiders and will attend the club's awards ceremony in Auckland this evening.

Mannering might be under a fitness cloud for week one of the playoffs but Luck was certain he'd make every effort to get himself on the park for his 301st appearance.

"You'd expect nothing less. I don't think he'd like that to be his last game. Sternum injuries are tricky; you can throw a dozen needles in them and they'll be all right or sometimes you can do the same and can't play.

"He'll have to look after it this week and do everything he can to guard it up. Knowing the bloke he is, he'll do everything to give himself a chance to play."