THE Sea Eagles "lethal weapon" Steve Matai has vowed not to tone down his aggressive style as he returns to the Manly side this week after serving a one-game suspension for a careless high tackle.
Returning Manly centre Steve Matai.
That is an ominous message for the Storm ahead of Friday's preliminary final between the arch-rivals at AAMI Park.
"I've spoken to the boys, the coaches - they don't want me to change anything," the powerhouse centre said.
"The boys love me for who I am and the way I play the game. Play hard, that's the way I do it."
Backrower Anthony Watmough summed up the feelings in the team when he said he hopes Matai never changes.
"Some of the hits he puts on and some of the contact it's amazing," he said.
"You don't see frontrowers doing that sort of stuff. The hits he puts on are second to none, no one does it better in the comp I don't think.
"He is a vital part of our team and his aggression really gets us going."
Watmough joked when it was suggested that Matai sometimes walks a very fine line on the field.
"It's a shoestring out there," he quipped.
Watmough said while things occasionally go wrong, Matai has pulled off more good shots than bad.
"I wouldn't run at him, don't be silly, I don't even run at him at training," Watmough said.
Matai revealed he was so nervous doing last Friday's win over the Cowboys that he viewed the game on a TV in the Manly changeroom.
"I can't watch games from the sidelines, I get too edgy," Matai said.
"I was pacing up and down, I was kicking a few bottles and what not.
"You get so edgy, you get so itchy you want to play and that is how I felt on Friday night. And I don't want to feel that again."
Matai believes he owes his teammates a big performance this Friday.
"I'm very relieved and very happy that the boys have given me this opportunity to play again," Matai said.
"I'm going to be out there doing everything I can to help the team get across the line."