Mata’utia returns for Old Boys Day
Sione Mata’utia builds for a return to the second row this weekend after transitioning to the position in the second half of the season.
Mata’utia has embraced his switch from the team’s outside backs to the forward pack this season.
“I was a bit scared about it, more so on the fitness side, but once I’m in the game the fitness is fine and I find something to push myself," he said on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot more action and a lot more bumps and bruises but I’m learning that pretty quickly from (Nathan) Browny and the coaches."
As the side builds for Sunday’s Round 25 Old Boys Day match, he says he’s prepared for a mammoth South Sydney Rabbitohs pack and believes the game could hinge on the platform laid by the Knights’ forwards.
“It’s going to be won in the middle this weekend so hopefully we can match it up,” he said.
“They have some big guys.
“I think my first game at second row was up against (Josh) Papalii. I’m loving the big bodies and everything around me, so will have to try to get used to it.
“Hopefully I grow as well.”
He also looks forward to taking ownership off his new position in the starting line-up.
“If I stick to one position I should be sweet. I spoke to Browny and I think we are pretty happy to where we are at the moment,” he said.
“I’m excited to stay in this one position and am learning to love it pretty quick.
“I have coaching staff who are helping me learn the trade pretty quick.”
Mata’utia sat out of Saturday’s match against the Gold Coast Titans to follow concussion protocol during the week.
“The week off was precautionary,” he said.
“I’m right to go and have done all the tests."
He looks to work on his decision-making and tackle selection as he becomes more experienced in his new role.
“I can be too eager to do things and am fast in everything I do,” he said.
“I think sometimes I need to slow down and steady up my decisions.”