Steve Matai

Journey Man
You'd think with his inclusion in the NZ "A" side, as well as Kylie Leuleuai, it will give them a taste of what COULD be. This will be a great opportunity for the fellas, and I personally think they will improve substantially out of this, as the desire will be there to go to the next level, as it is so close.

My concern is this. Where does that place Ashley Alberts.

Maybe the Flash can go on the wing, with Matai & Bell in the centres?

Then you have concerns over Robertson & Steppa.
Premium Member
Personally I think Ash has more ability than Matai, but Matai may have a bit more ticker.
First Grader
Agree with Wheel. But it will be a top opportunity for them both and it will show them what good play can achieve.

But Matai has to work hard on not giving away penalties.
First Grader
Matai tries hard and has some mongrel but I dont see him as a 1st rate/choice NRL centre. Good for depth but I hope he is not our 1st choice centre. Hope he proves me wrong but I just dont see it happening.

Ash seems to have more natural ability and playing outside Orford we will hopefully see this.


I don't see mattai as being a first choice centre next year. He doesn't have the same speed off the mark and footwork that Ash has.

Remember Ash didn't have an offseason last year because of his shoulder reconstruction. If he spends the offseason building himself up without losing any speed and working on his defence then I see him and Bell as the centres next year.

I think eventually Mattai will go into the backrow when beaver/BK retire.
Journey Man
Really? Never thought od Matai as a backrower. Too small.

Well, if he's not your 1st choice centre, who would be your 1st choice winger out of:-

Steve Matai
Michael Robertson
Paul Stephenson
Mitch Creary

That's to everyone by the way.
First Grader
Steppa on one wing then wait and see what happens in the trials as to who gets the other spot.
Journey Man
Tne only positio our team is short in my opinion is with a specialist 5/8, and hopefully Dykes may fix that.
Premium Member
Hicks would be 1st choice winger, although I always preferred him as a centre.
Journey Man
its a great opportunity for steve and hopefully this motivates him. Remeber that bell is older and this may be his last contract in NRL - Matai could be back up and take over from bell in 3 years.

I see this as really helping his off season as when he was dropped earlier this year he went to **** back in PL. He has motivation problems - thats obvious.

Alberts has a much better line breaking ability, and with an off season to strengthen his upper body (especially the shoulder) his tackling should improve since his style involes a lot of upper body strength.
Journey Man
Yeah - I think they BOTH have a very similar tackling style. Hit but often not sticking.

Was Ashley Alberts injurred toward the end of the year, or was Matai just picked over him?
First Grader
Alberts was so sick at the end of the year he missed over three rounds and then was a shadow of himself in the PL for the last two games.

He is keen for a full season next year and good form.
Journey Man
So that would mean:-

Jason King - personal problems + playing injurred;
Ashley Alberts - playing sick;
Daniel Heckenberg - playing too soon;

etc etc..

What's going on?


Maybe Mattai could be hooker next year? He is quite good out of dummy half and he wouldn't worry about taking on the big forwards in defence.

I just worry about him in defence as a centre when I remember how easily Tahu sidestepped and got past him him in the semi.

Hicks and Steppa would have to be the starting wingers next year. I heard that steppa had groin injuries last season hence that is why he looked slower than he used to.

Maybe Cuthbertson as back up winger with mattai?
Premium Member
Tookey there is only one person on this forum who considers Cuthbo a winger
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