Steve Matai ruled out of league World Cup final By Steve Mascord | November 17, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sport/nrl/story/0,26799,24661448-5006066,00.html CENTRE Steve Matai is out of New Zealand's World Cup final side and will undergo shoulder and neck surgery this week. Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney refused to say after the 32-22 semi-final win over England on Saturday night whether Matai - who went to Sydney for scans last week - would be available for selection against Australia this Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. Matai missed Saturday's game and when asked yesterday about the Manly star's chances of playing, team doctor Simon Mayhew told The Daily Telegraph: "His chances are nil." "As everyone knows, he's seen a specialist in Sydney and it was determined that he needs surgery. I've just spoken to Steve, actually. "They had a look at his shoulder and neck and there was a fair bit more damage than we thought. "He was always going to have shoulder surgery at the end of the year but unfortunately he won't be able to continue playing for another week. "It's in the hands of Manly's medical staff now." Matai's unavailability is a significant blow to the Kiwis, who struggled to overcome repeated comebacks by a mistake-riddled English line-up at the weekend. "I don't subscribe too much to winning and losing," Kearney claimed. "All I'm concerned about is making sure we put our best performance out there. "As I said before: you do that, you get a bit of luck and hopefully things might bounce your way." Captain Nathan Cayless said the patchy nature of the victory, after the Kiwis led 16-0 at 22 minutes, had taken the shine off qualifying for New Zealand's third World Cup final. "Obviously there's parts of the game we can be happy with but we're just disappointed that we kept letting them back in the game," prop Cayless said. "It's a bit of mixed emotion. It's one thing that we're in the final but we know we're going to have to play a helluva lot better . . . next week. "We've got a week to work on a few things. I'm sure Steve will have his work cut out this week, getting the gameplan organised and getting up a few players." Cayless said the credo for the World Cup final would be "No regrets, I suppose. Getting out there and giving it everything. "We've given ourselves an opportunity to play in the final but we've got to make sure that that's not enough, that's not good enough, to just be there." Kearney said there were good signs on Saturday night - but just not enough of them. "For 30 minutes of that first half, we showed what we were capable of," said Kearney, "and for the remainder of the match, we drifted in and out." Thomas Leuluai's switch to hooker was declared a success. "Despite what some people think, we've always been confident," he said of Wigan's Leuluai. "That's why he's been starting throughout the tournament."