Unknown of finals footy excites Mata’utia

Sione Mata'utia is entering his sixth year in the NRL but has never tasted finals football.

The 22-year-old is hungry for it and he's not the only one.

It's safe to say, making the Newcastle Knights finals contenders and a premiership force is the driving motivation for the team in 2019.

For the centre turned backrower, he believes the lack of finals knowledge from the younger players in the squad will only fuel the desire to play September football.


"You just never know if you haven't played in finals you just don't know so I think that is one positive that once the boys get there," Mata'utia said.

PONGA EAGER TO TAP INTO MAORI HERITAGE

"We are pretty keen to play some finals footy and that's the long-term goal and everyone knows that there is a lot of work in between to get there.

"... I want to be there for sure and draw some motivation off the happiness the boys that whatever team wins.


"It is always something that I have looked forward to as a kid and every team has that as their goal to be there at the end of the season."

Having bulked up, Mata'utia is expected to return to the backrow this year after spending the 2018 season in the centres.

He's one of the strongest players in the team which should give him an edge if he's required to play closer to the action.

MANN'S BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING HOOKER SWITCH


"I am comfortable where I am at physically and mentally, especially off field it is probably the best I've been, so I just need to keep that on the field and keep training hard and see where it takes me," he said.

When asked where he's expecting to play in 2019, he replied; "Probably the back row and centre as well, I have got a few positions there that I can play.

"I guess that's the beauty of what I can do in I can help slot in with the team and help get them what they want."