Sione pumped for return

Sione Mata’utia will return to the fold in the Newcastle Knights’ Round 3 match against the Canberra Raiders at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

It’s a delayed start to the season after serving a one-match suspension in round one and playing with the Under 20s in round two.

“Our first home game is always a big occasion,” he said. 

“It’s going to be a big one. We’ve had two losses in the last two weeks so we’re looking to get a win at home.

“I can’t wait to get out there and help the boys where I can.” 

The youngest of the Mata’utia brothers has been named on a five-man interchange and says he’s content to play in whatever position he’s most needed on Saturday. 

“It would be good to have that one spot and to try to get comfortable there, but I don’t mind where I am on the paddock, just as long as I’m playing,” he said.

He is also looking forward to lining up alongside brother Pat for the first time at NRL level.

 “It’s going to be good. I haven’t played with Pat since under 20s,” Sione said. 

“I’m glad to see him finally get his shot. He’s one of the brothers I really wanted to see play first grade.” 

The Newcastle Souths junior predicts a grueling game against the Raiders who have opened the season with two straight wins.

“It’s going to be a battle of the forwards I reckon. They have big forwards at the front but I reckon our boys can match them as well,” Mata’utia said. 

“We just have to be disciplined this weekend, hold on to the ball and not give away penalties.” 

Now considered one of the more experienced players in the Knights squad, the 19-year-old has faith the team’s younger players will improve and grow as they spend more time in the NRL. 

“The boys around them are going to help and we’re going to give them the best opportunity we can,” he said. 

“We have a young crew and are looking to build for the future and obviously have a good season this year. 

“We’ve been dealt the cards we have at the moment so are just doing it to the best of our abilities.”

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