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Matai article

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Kiwi Eagle, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Don't go changing
    AARON LAWTON - Sunday News | Sunday, 18 November 2007

    Political incorrectness is alive and well in rugby league with Kiwis hardman Steve Matai vowing not to change his physical approach.

    In a breath of fresh air, Matai sent off for a high-shot on Mark Gasnier in last month's Kiwis test against Australia told Sunday News he won't give in to the PC merchants that are demanding players clean up their act.

    Reduced to 12 men from the 23rd minute, the Kiwis capitulated on their way to a record 58-0 loss at Wellington's Westpac Trust stadium.

    But despite the incident, which Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart described as a "cheap shot" at the time, Matai said he would not back down from his role as an enforcer in the black jersey.

    "It's not going to stop me playing the way I play. What happened in Wellington was an accident," Matai said from Sydney.

    "There's no point in trying to change my natural game.

    "If I get selected again for the Kiwis, they will definitely be selecting me for the way I play so there's no way I would go out there and play any different to how I normally do."

    Having undergone shoulder surgery three weeks ago, Matai said it had been tough watching the Kiwis splutter against Great Britain from his home in Sydney.

    "It's always tough just watching the boys play and knowing you could be there to help," he added.

    "It's been very hard seeing the boys lose in the last month the way they have. They'll be better for it when the world cup rolls around next year.

    "We've had a young side this year and when you lose players like Ruben Wiki and Stacey Jones, it's always going to be tough to bounce back."

    With next year's centenary test in May the last hit-out before the world cup, Matai said he was determined to reclaim his Kiwis jumper and restore some pride after the Wellington debacle.

    "From an international rugby league point of view, that sending off was one of the toughest moments of my career. It was very hard watching the test from the dressing room," said Matai.

    "It was tough watching the boys struggling with 12 men while I sat in the changing room and couldn't do anything to help. I apologised to the lads because it was my fault they were one man short.

    "I'm definitely keen to get back in the Kiwis side and make up for what happened. I'm always keen to play international league but if it doesn't happen again it doesn't happen.

    "I'll definitely be doing everything I can to try to get back in the side again next year."
  2. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Was also another brief piece on him, where he said surgery went well and he will be ready to go in March
  3. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +971 / 7

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