Mata'utia ready for Harold Matthews Cup Grand Final
Friday 4 May 2012 4:00 PM
Newcastle Knights under 16’s Harold Matthews Cup captain Sione Mata’utia says the Knights are expecting a tough test when they take on the Parramatta Eels in the Grand Final tomorrow.
Sione is the youngest of the four Mata'utia brothers who play for the Knights. Pat and Chanel are both members of NYC team, while Peter plays in the NSW Cup.
Sione will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Pat, who was a part of the Knights' premiership winning SG Ball team last season.
Despite the enormity of the occasion, Mata’utia said the young Knights were determined to approach the match as if it were any other game.
“Training has been good this week, all the boys are excited but a bit nervous too,” he said.
“It’s a big game, but we just have to play the same as a normal game like we do every week.”
Parramatta are one of the traditional heavyweights in the Harold Matthews Cup, having won it on 17 occasions since the competition’s inception since 1970.
They finished second on the ladder at the end of the regular season while the Knights were three places back in fifth spot.
Mata’utia said Newcastle were in for nothing less than a typically bruising encounter.
“It should be a good game,” he said.
“They’re a good side and it will be pretty physical in the forwards so I think it will be tough for us.”
Newcastle are the only team to have beaten the Eels in 2012 with a narrow 16-12 victory in round two.
Mata’utia said that while that result would offer the Knights some assurance going into tomorrow’s decider, they wouldn’t be reading into it too much.
“It does give us some confidence but that game was at the start of the season so they are probably a different team now to what they were then,” he said.
Grand Final Details
Date: Saturday 5th May
Venue: St Marys Leagues Club Stadium
Kick Off: 1.00pm
Photo credit: ourfootyteam.com