By Mary Maidiotis
St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Peter Mata’utia is keen to continue wearing the Red V jersey ahead of the fixture against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium, Canberra on Saturday.
The Samoa international played just nine first-grade games for the Red-and-Whites last season and is hopeful that more game-time will come as he continues to prove himself when given the opportunity.
Mata’utia, who was a late addition to the team in lieu of the injured Josh Dugan, acknowledges that although he prefers the fullback and centre positions, he is just proud to be able to wear the jersey, regardless of the position required of him.
“It was good to get back out onto the field, despite the results, after all the hard work in the preseason, it was rewarding to put the jersey back on,” said Mata’utia.
“I was moved around a lot in preseason and I guess that comes with my versatility, but whenever I’m needed and whatever position I’m needed to play for the team, I’ll take it.
“I love fullback and centre, but I’ll take any position and be proud to wear that jersey.
“I love putting the jersey on and I loved every time I got a chance to put on the Red V last year.
“It was one of my goals to put it on again this year and I’m hoping to get more games, I just can’t wait to put it on again.
“I received a cork in the game on Monday night but it’s coming good now, it’s feeling a lot better than it was yesterday and I’m looking forward to training on Friday.
“Against the Tigers we probably weren’t slowing the play down enough, letting them get on the front foot, and with Robbie Farah at hooker, it’s what they’re good at.
“The game was a step back from last week - we let in one line break against Melbourne, compared to six on the weekend, so hopefully we can turn that around this week and start a roll on.
“The lead-up to this weekend’s game is all about trying to freshen the boys up, we’re all aware that there’s a few changes to the team this week but I know that whoever gets put into the team this week will definitely do the job in Canberra.”