History beckons for Vatuvei
Monday 30 July 2012 9:17 PM
Champion winger Manu Vatuvei is just a touchdown away from creating history in front of his home crowd this week.
The giant try-scoring machine’s 44th-minute try against Manly on Saturday night was his ninth of the 2012 campaign and, more significantly, the 99th of his career.
It gives him the chance of becoming the first player to score 100 NRL tries for the club when the Vodafone Warriors face Cronulla in their 22nd-round clash at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm kick-off local time).
After captaining the Vodafone Warriors for the first time in last Saturday night’s clash against Manly, the Cronulla match will be the 148th of the 26-year-old Vatuvei’s career.
Making his debut in 2004 – he went try-less in five games – he soon became the club’s No 1 strike weapon, averaging a try in every 1.48 games he has played, one of the best try-scoring rates among long-serving players.
His try-scoring frequency is vastly superior since the start of the 2008 season. After scoring 29 tries in his first 58 games from 2004-2007, he has gone on to snare 70 tries in his last 89 games.
After being the club’s equal top try-scorer with 10 in 2007, he topped the try-scoring charts in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Currently he’s third behind Shaun Johnson with 10 and centre Konrad Hurrell with 12.
Vatuvei moved past former try-scoring record holder Stacey Jones in 2010; Jones scored 77 tries in 261 matches. With 396 points all from tries, Vatuvei ranks behind only Jones (674), James Maloney (535) and Ivan Cleary (439) for most points scored for the Vodafone Warriors.