MANLY'S champion NRL forward Anthony Watmough helped to save the life of teammate Steve Matai by lying over his unconscious body as they were kicked and punched by a group of thugs. After a brutal bashing on the Northern Beaches, both Sea Eagles stars were taken by ambulance to Mona Vale Hospital for treatment. Police last night indicated it was an unprovoked assault outside Matai's Beacon Hill home at 1.30am on Sunday involving at least three Polynesian men, but possibly as many as eight. Watmough, who was waiting for a taxi, was hailed a hero yesterday for throwing his body over his stricken teammate as he was lying unconscious and being kicked and stomped by the gang. "It was very scary and I was worried for Skivvy's (Matai's) life because he wasn't moving," Watmough said. "I have no idea why it happened or who they were. "The area is on a main road not in some back alley. I'm just grateful we are both OK. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. Related Coverage Â Â * Sydney attack: Thugs bash top Manly players End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. "I want to make it clear we didn't retaliate or provoke the attack and we are happy to co-operate with police to aid them in their investigation." The two players went to Matai's house after a night out on the Northern Beaches. Watmough left to get his taxi when he was approached by the group. Matai went to his aid and was "king hit" from behind. Police said three men were involved in the attack but the players and a witness believe it was a gang of up to eight. "I saw my attacker coming but not the punch," Matai said, "After that I can't remember a thing. I came good in hospital. "I'm grateful Choc did what he did. It was a cowardly attack. One would think you are safe in front of your home but unfortunately that wasn't the case. I was out for a long time and I'm feeling like I've been run over by a bus." The players reported the attack to club officials when they were released from hospital. They were too sick to train yesterday. Although both players have had their share of off-field dramas over the years, Manly CEO Graham Lowe was convinced they did nothing wrong on this occasion. "The Manly club has conducted a thorough investigation into the incident and co-operated fully with the police," he said. "The police have kept us informed throughout and assured us they are investigating an unprovoked attack. "I'm proud of the way they refused to inflame the situation. They had enjoyed a quiet night out in each others company and were attacked within a few metres of one of their homes." NRL boss David Gallop was told of the attack in a phone call from Lowe on Sunday afternoon. "It's a concern if it's right what police are saying that it was an unprovoked attack and two players have suffered serious injuries," Gallop said.