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Mata’utia up for Brookvale challenge

Press conference: Sione Mata'utia on Round 8

Sione Mata'utia is looking forward to a fierce reception at Brookvale Oval on Friday, as the team plans to go two from two against the Manly Sea Eagles this season.

"It's going to be a good clash down at Brookie, so it's always a challenge to get a win down there," Mata'utia said. 

"It's a great opportunity to get a good win and build off the back of last weekend's very tough performance. 

"The reception is going to be brutal, but I'm sure we'll have some red and blue fans down there as well."

Despite some distractions off the field at Manly, Mata'utia says the red and blues will respect Manly like they did in Round 1. 

"Whatever is going on down there, that is for their club to deal with, but our focus is that we can only control what is on the field," he said. 

"At the end of the day we've got to be ready for one of our hardest battles. 

"Manly are always traditionally tough down at Brookie so we've got to put in our best performance, and hopefully come home with the chocolates. 

"They've got a big forward pack and Daley Cherry Evans loves to play second phase footy, while the two brothers are definitely something to be worried about. 

"They've got strike power across the field and for our personal performance we need to get our defence right and we're going to have to be up to scratch there for sure."

Asked about his season so far, Mata'utia admits it's been a little up and down and he knows his work ethic needs to be improved. 

"I've got a lot more to work to do but I'm having fun, it's good being back in the centres and it's good to be getting some good quality ball," explained Mata'utia. 

"Playing inside of Shaun Kenny-Dowall and outside of Aidan Guerra means there's definitely been some good lessons I've learnt so far with very experienced players around me.

"Defensively I'm missing a few one-on-ones and a few goals that I want to reach before mid-season so I'm definitely working hard to fix that."

The Knights centre admits the loss of Mitchell Pearce will create a big hole in the squad, but he has been impressed with young half Jack Cogger who will get to take his place.

"Jack Cogger is a tough little bugger, he'll go for the 80 minutes and he's riding on a bit of confidence after last weekend," Mata'utia commented.

"You can trust him to do the job and he'll do a lot of the tough smaller stuff.

"It's a big loss with Pearce because he's been playing some good footy and no doubt has definitely won us some games as well."

Meanwhile, Mata'utia revealed he is currently in negotiations for a new contract and has his sights set on being a one club man.

"I spoke to the Club last year and due to my head knocks, talks got paused, and once I got the clearance, all negotiations have restarted," he said.

"At the end of the day, that's what my manager is for, he can worry about that and I can worry about playing some good footy.

"I want to be a one club man and finish my career here and there's no place like Newcastle."

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