Steve Matai isn't one to take no for an answer. When the Manly centre first trialled with the Sea Eagles in 2005, he was told there was no room for him.
The advice was to pack his bags and return to the Sea Eagles' feeder club in Brisbane. Matai refused, telling coach Des Hasler he would stay for nothing.
By the time the opening round of the season rolled around, Matai had forced his way into the centres.
Midway through 2006, he developed a bulging disc in his neck. Rather than booking in for surgery, Matai played on. His reward was a Kiwi Test jumper.
"I don't think I played too well in my first trial with the club. So I spoke to my manager and said 'look, just organise anything. I'll stay here for nothing','' Matai said.
"Manly were going to send me back to their feeder club in Queensland, which was Wynumm-Manly. So I agreed to stay for nothing.
"If I played NRL, I got match payments. That was it.''