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Steve Matai

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    By James Hooper | September 28, 2008 12:00am

    BENEATH the corn rows, tattoos, shoulder charges and cold stares, Manly intimidator Steve Matai has revealed his brush with gang life on the streets of Auckland.
    Born and raised in the central suburb of Mt Roskill, Matai has warned about the perils of being lured into the wrong crew after being forced to rescue his younger brother Charlie from a hazardous path.

    In 2006, Matai returned home to play for Manly against the Warriors and discovered Charlie had been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.

    Disturbed by the road his brother had chosen, the Kiwi international intervened. When Charlie was done with his community service, Matai organised for him to move to Sydney, get a job and start a new life.

    "I saw a lot of gang life growing up, but I think it's getting a lot worse now,'' Matai said.

    "My brother's just turned 19, which is the perfect age for all that stuff to be going on.

    "At the time, before he moved here, he was getting into a lot of trouble with gangs and boys around the neighbourhood.

    "Now he's going good. He's got a job out here and his girlfriend has come over and he's happy.

    "I'm glad he's not hanging around with that sort of crowd anymore. I'm glad he's left that life behind.''

    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.''

    Hasler is an unabashed Matai fan, warning opposition teams against underestimating the Kiwi Test centre.

    One school of thought is the Eagles can't win the premiership without Matai. His steely-edged attitude towards defence is a must in finals football.

    "The greatest attribute Steve brings to the team is that the players really like playing with him,'' Hasler said.

    "I tend to think a lot of opposition teams might mistakenly underrate Steve.

    "He's worked really hard to get where he is. He's got a real tough edge to his game.

    "As he's getting older, he tapers it a little bit, but that's just a natural part of his game.

    "He's had a few injuries, but he works hard and he's very professional about his recovery.''
  2. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,608 /80
    His attack has come on leaps and bounds this year. I don't know whether that is a function of a change in Dessie's general philosphy on team tactics or it may be that he has some better ball players inside him, whatever it is, he is a key part of our offence now.

    I must admit I was a bit 50-50 about what he could bring to the side this year after a mixed bag last season, but he has really peaked at the right time and I expect him to put in a huge one on Sunday. 
  3. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    +8 /0
    it is just really great that des is getting the best out of each player, maybe it is the wholoe coaching staff,  look at the likes of Hall, Stewart, and King. It is awesome!
  4. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    i to delay surgery for GF

    September 29, 2008http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,24420901-23214,00.html

    MANLY centre Steve Matai requires surgery on bone fragments floating around his shoulder, Melbourne star Greg Inglis's "knees are shot", but both will play in Sunday's NRL grand final.
    New Zealand Test star Matai revealing the full extent of his shoulder troubles on Monday as he was sent for further scans on the injury that has got progressively worse over the season.

    Matai needs surgery at the end of the year, and may miss the World Cup, but regardless of his latest test results the 24-year-old said there was “no way” he would miss the rematch with the Storm at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    “I hope it's not completely busted but I should be right,” Matai said.

    “I know I've got a few chipped bones there so I have to get that cleaned out at the end of the year.”

    Inglis doesn't face surgery, but the 21-year-old says he is suffering pain from another growth spurt.

    The Australian Test star told the Nine Network the pain had become worse in recent weeks and he was an 80 per cent chance of playing in the grand final.

    “My knees are shot,” Inglis said.

    “I think it's just a growth spurt again.

    “Hopefully I don't grow too much more because it is absolutely killing me.”
    Inglis won last year's Clive Churchill Medal and while he has been off his top form in recent weeks it is unlikely knee pain alone would be enough to rule him out of a grand final.

    Matai's ability to play almost the entire season under duress has become a source of jokes among teammates.

    They've nicknamed him the Waterboy, after Adam Sandler's movie character Bobby Bouchet, an American footballer who smashes opponents and when he gets injured makes an amazing recovery after sipping on some “high quality H2O”.

    “Old Waterboy. He gets the magic water every week and it seems to fix him,” said backrower Anthony Watmough.

    But it is not just shoulder pain that is ailing Matai this week after he claimed a crusher tackle in the victory over the Warriors also caused his old neck injury to flare up.

    “I got caught in what looked like a crusher tackle and I just pulled up pretty sore,” he said.
  5. Brookvale

    Brookvale Well-Known Member

    +155 /1
    Matai is a legend. Such a tough competitor. Made many breaks this year. I think the only thing missing in his game is that extra sprint. But that can be worked on in the off season, also we have many speedsters in our backline.

    That article on ingils is a joke...growth spurt. I think an extra appendige is growin on Greg Inglis' forehead.
  6. Pepi

    Pepi Well-Known Member

    +530 /30
    Matai was the worst player on the Field in the 2005 final against the Eels and really showed nothing at all that year, apart from throwing a few haymakers at Ben Cross in Canberra.
    I couldnt believe Des kept him in 2006, now ill happily eat humble pie. If he isnt the form Centre in the NRL, who is?
  7. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    Firstly I'm impressed with the article and how he helped his brother get he's life back on track good on you Matai.

    I'm a big fan of Matai like the hard edge that he brings to the side. Des knows how to get the best out of players like Perry,Hall, D. Williams etc.

    Theres been many times where he puts his body on the line in defence and a lot of times he's stopped the opposition close to the line. He is not afraid to take on the opposition with his hard busting style of running towards the opposition it's almost like stop me if you can.

    Matai has been playing some great footy this year, and his critics are always out to have a bash at him I'm one that's glad he's in our side and not playing against us he will play a big part in us taking our 7th title which I'm confident we will.
  8. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

    +302 /0
    well theres only 4 left so he must be a pretty good chance :)
  9. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    I've noticed Inglis hasn't been anywhere near his best in the finals series. Hopefully that continues on in the GF and we can get a Menzies special on him right around the knee caps to kick it off.
  10. hoax1210au

    hoax1210au Member

    +0 /0
  11. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

    +170 /1
    Inglis struggled massively against the Sharks. I wouldnt be surprised if he fails to see the game out on Sunday. If we can shut down Cronk's thinking time and nullify Slater we are home.
  12. mj

    mj New Member

    +0 /0
    Hopefully we go the shooter approach on Cronk. We did it real well on Inglis at Brooky and I think it would work even better on Cronk. He is obviously a very good ball player but he isnt like a Lockyer who will just dance through your defence if you race up. I think we can make him panic and really put the sword to him.
  13. Cameron

    Cameron Cambo

    +669 /35

    Apparently he's got pains in his body
    period pains :p
  14. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    Its a proven fact that during or after a person has a growth spurt, their co-ordination is slightly out for a few weeks while their brain adapts to their new size.

    Overly scientific but anything would help.
  15. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member

    +516 /0
    Matai has certainly stepped up.  I was a harsh critic but he is playing awesome of late.  I thought he was mom last Saturday night.  Great runs, a try, big hits, no silly stuff.  Hope he's going to do the same this Sunday.  We need him and Choc to play well and keep the mistake rates down.
  16. Ron E. Gibbs

    Ron E. Gibbs Well-Known Member

    +2,337 /21
    Yep, Matai was awesome. Brent Tate is a very good centre and Matai played all over him.
    He seems to step it up in big games, too. He was our best in a well-beaten side in last year's grand final.
  17. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    He was the only bloke you could confidently say actually went out and had a dig. He's also the only bloke who could look you in the eye and tell you with complete honesty that he outplayed his opponent last year. He kept Folau quiet that night, and was our best in attack. Let's hope he repeats the dose on Sunday.

    DUFFMAN Well-Known Member

    +569 /8
    he is on the front page of the tele today

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