Sunday’s NSW Cup preliminary final between the Newcastle Knights and Illawarra Cutters is set to be another Mata’utia brother showdown with Knights Chanel and Pat matching up against older brother Peter.
Knights TV sat down with the pair in the lead-up to the final to hear their expectations about the next installment of the family encounters.
Looking back, Pat versed Peter when the NSW Cup sides played each other for the second time this season in Round 21.
While Chanel and youngest brother Sione, who both made their NRL debut Round 20, played against Peter in NRL's Round 26 at Hunter Stadium against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
“It was a proud moment for our family, watching the three play against each other,” Pat recalled about the Round 26 encounter.
“It was exciting and Mum was pretty happy.”
With the conclusion of the NRL season, Chanel has returned to the Knights NSW Cup side for Sunday's preliminary final against the Cutters.
“I played Pete in our last NRL game and that was cool, especially because I played alongside Sione,” Chanel said.
“I know Pete's going to try to be tough.”
While Pat added, “I think we play him on the same side."
It’s been an incredible year for the Mata’utia family.
Within the space of eight months, the Mata’utia brothers have celebrated two NRL debuts, state representation, and a raft of player awards shared between the four brothers.
And a grand final title may not be far from the list of achievements.
The Knights’ win over the Wentworthville Magpies entitled the team to the week off, allowing the players to make the most of the bonus finals preparation.
Pat explained the side has welcomed the extra time to train and work on fitness.
“Working on skills has been a big help,” he said.
Now it’s Sione’s chance to watch his three older brothers battle it out on the field and Pat and Chanel have strong views on where their youngest brother’s allegiance should lie.
“He’ll be in trouble when we get home after the game if he’s not cheering for us,” Pat joked.
With jokes aside, the pair expressed great pride in their youngest brothers’ outstanding success this season, especially after learning the 18-year-old had been recognised with the Rugby League Players’ Associations NYC Player of the Year Award the night before.
“It’s a big achievement to make, especially being two years younger,” Chanel said.
"He’s come a long way and is doing well and can hopefully keep at it, knuckle down, stay humble and make the best out of it."
Pat added, “I was proud of him and he was the only one out of us that’s got this far in 20s, so it’s a proud moment for us and we’re also proud of him as well."
And according to the two brothers, their family is set to celebrate their recent achievements in true Mata’utia style.
“After the game we just have a big feed, for us it’s all about food after the game,” Chanel said.