Matai To Lock: Arko

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Berkeley_Eagle

Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan
Matai's the man: Arko
ZORBA
22jul06

MANLY Godfather Ken Arthurson is tipping the Sea Eagles' tough tackling ponytailed centre Steve Matai to do a Terry Randall and make a successful switch to the lock forward position as early as next season.

Arthurson is a fan of Matai and feels the 22-year-old Kiwi is a natural to head for the back of the forward pack.

"He is a devastating defender, relishes the hard work, is smart out of dummy half and has speed to burn - he would kill them in the thick of the action for 80 minutes," Arthurson said.

"On top of all that he is a fearless player and would relish the forward exchanges.

"He reminds me a lot of Terry Randall - who like Matai started out as a centre - but switched to the forwards with devastating results to be one of the most feared forwards of the 70s."

Now in retirement on the Gold Coast, Arthurson is a constant visitor to Brookvale Oval for matches and never misses a match featuring his beloved maroon and whites on Channel 9 or Fox Sports.

Arthurson said he was very impressed with Matai as a player of enormous potential.

"I congratulate the club on finding him and developing him so fast. He has come from nowhere but is certainly heading towards a very bright future.

"He will prove a valuable player for the future. With Ben Kennedy retiring it is going to be impossible to replace him but perhaps the next best option is already in the side - particularly with Jamie Lyon coming next season and set to partner Steve Bell as the most potent centre pairing in the game.

"I wouldn't be moving Travis Burns from five-eighth - like Matai he has been a brilliant find for the club - and like Matai he has loads of courage."

Steve Matai has played in 16 of Manly's 18 games this season and has been one of the team's most consistent performers.

His elevation to the fringe of international football this season has been meteoric.

Matai was 18th man for the Kiwis in the Anzac Test against Australia at Suncorp Stadium on May 5 and is sure to be chosen in the New Zealand squad for the upcoming Tri-Nations series.

Kiwi coach Brian McClennan is another Matai fan.

McClennan coached Matai in junior Kiwi teams and has close ties with the Matai family.

"He is a goer - no one looks forward to playing against him," McClennan said.

McClennan said Matai was in his plans for the Tri Nations competition for sure.
 
I like what I see in Matai, good hard running, does have a tendancy to arm grab in defence - but he has the goods to work on that. There will be no arguments from me moving him to the forwards.
 
probably would suit his game better than centre. worth a shot as I think Lyon in the centres with Bell and keeping Burns at 5/8 is the best option.
 
We would get another watmough i reckon, in they way they play

Both full of aggression, commitment, effort and passion. Play above their weight and get into the tough stuff where others shirk
 
That Queensland sun is getting to Arko.

If he can't tackle at Centre how the hell is he going to do it in close?
 
Flopping on a player that has fallen over or is attempting to protect his ribs whilst hitting the D line is not a "tackle".
 
Imagine the 80 odd kilo giant battering his body for 26 weeks straight, trying to get 200+ metres a game, running at players like O'Mealey, Mason, Bailey, Simms etc.
Jamaal Lolesi tried to play @ Lock for 6-8 games this year, and couldn't handle it, stating he was getting hurt too much. He's much bigger and stronger in build than Matai. Imagine our young Matai?
From what this reads, this is our run on team in 07:-

01. Brett Stewart
02. Michael Robertson
03. Jamie Lyon
04. Steven Bell
05. Chris Hicks
06. Travis Burns
07. Matt Orford
08. Jason King
09. Michael Monaghan
10. Brent Kite
11. Anthony Watmough
12. Steve Menzies
13. Steve Matai

14. Shayne Dunley
15. Luke Williamson
16. George Rose
17. ?

I am yet to see the signatures of Bryant and Leuluai.
I also worry that I don't see that one ruthless prop/2nd rower/lock that can consistently stand out week after week that a team needs to win a premiership - I mean a metre muncher type player. Bryant / King / Leuluai etc 30-80 metres a game just won't do it, and you wouldn't imagine Matai will get the massive metres up the middle.

Additionally, we'd HAVE to have a crap load of cash left right? Where's it going to go?

Simple. Cap went up $700k - We have released Kennedy $250k, we have released Kleal $90k, we have released Witt (I can only believe he's on around $70k tops), and in the line up above, potentially Leuluai (who I'd say would be on $100k tops). We MIGHT be able to add Bryant to that list - but I won't count it.

That's a clear $1,250,000+ (being very, very conservative with the figures for the released players) to spend.

Take an additional $250k off that for Orford extra payment this year, then take $400k off that for Lyon.

That would leave conservatively $650k to spend right???

And people question why we had $400k per year to throw at Creagh...It's pretty simple to see we have a huge amount to spend - and not enough players to spend it on.
 
if we dont sign anyone else for 2007 some contracts should be resstructured. Give players like orford, Kite and Lyon an extra 200k each for 2007 and less for the remaining years of their contracts, thus freeing up even more salary cap spce for 2008 and beyond. Im sure the players wont mind getting more money earlier and investing it at about 6.5%
 
Imagine the 80 odd kilo giant battering his body for 26 weeks straight, trying to get 200+ metres a game, running at players like O'Mealey, Mason, Bailey, Simms etc.
Jamaal Lolesi tried to play @ Lock for 6-8 games this year, and couldn't handle it, stating he was getting hurt too much. He's much bigger and stronger in build than Matai. Imagine our young Matai?
From what this reads, this is our run on team in 07:-

Just cause some other guy from some other club was too wussy doesn't mean Matai would be. He might be tough enough. Whenever he seems to be injured he always keeps playing on.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
4 3 1 39 8
5 4 1 35 8
5 3 2 14 8
4 3 1 12 8
4 3 1 11 8
5 3 2 47 6
5 3 2 38 6
6 3 3 37 6
5 3 2 21 6
4 2 2 -3 6
5 2 3 2 4
5 2 3 -5 4
6 2 4 -5 4
5 2 3 -20 4
5 2 3 -48 4
4 0 4 -85 2
5 1 4 -90 2
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