NRL 2 years ago

Team, not tries, Manu Vatuvei's priority

  • Team, not tries, Manu Vatuvei's priority

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors looks dejected following the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park on April 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

For someone who has made tryscoring look easy, winger Manu Vatuvei admits he's found it harder this year to propel his giant frame across the tryline.

Back from a hamstring complaint for the trek to face Manly in Perth, the Warriors icon gets the chance to add to his NRL club record tally on Saturday.

Vatuvei has touched down 149 times in 217 appearances.

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Last year, he became the first player to score at least 10 tries in 10 consecutive seasons.

However, injury and off-field issues have restricted him to seven matches and just three tries in 2016.

"I think it's been a while since I've crossed the line," he said.

"But I just have to do my job for the team and, when the tries come, they come."

Vatuvei picked up his last four-pointer a month ago against Newcastle before coming off in the second half of the 50-14 win.

If the 30-year-old dots down against the Sea Eagles, he will be only the 11th player in the competition's history to reach 150 tries.

His return to the side means the Warriors will have an imposing back three in fellow winger Ken Maumalo and fullback David Fusitu'a.

Maumalo, who turns 22 on match day, made his first-grade debut last season, but has had to bide time this year before getting a call-up as Vatuvei's replacement.

He retains his spot after impressive form in his three matches, racking up an average of 175 running metres per game.

"Hopefully I can come back and do what he has been doing," Vatuvei said.

Vatuvei has been doing his bit to aid Maumalo's progress.

"He's my development buddy," he said.

"I spend a lot of time with Kenny and do a bit of video with him on how we can improve our game."

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