By Mary Maidiotis
St George Illawarra Dragons winger Peter Mata’utia is grateful to be given another opportunity to don the Red V against the Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday.
Mata’utia, 24, was a late call-up for the fixture against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last round, coming into the side for Jason Nightingale who injured himself in the warm-up.
The Samoan international had played a full NSW Cup game for the Illawarra Cutters the previous day, but proved to be a worthy replacement after scoring a try and clocking up the most metres for a Dragon on the night.
“I was heaps surprised to get the call-up, just out of the blue”, said Mata’utia.
“I was eating leftover dinner while the boys were warming up, I went for a walk to the toilet and saw Jason Nightingale come in and my heart just dropped.
“I didn’t get much preparation or time to warm-up but I had a job to do for the team.
“I was really excited to get the call up, I love playing NRL, and I love playing for the Dragons, so every chance I get I’ll take it with both hands and give it my all.
“I feel sorry for Jason, he’s deserved to play every week, he’s been playing well so far but I am happy to take my chance.
“It will be a good Friday night game at Kogarah, we’ve got a tough block coming up and it starts with Brisbane this week.
“The Broncos have got great players and good young backs - I’m pretty certain Copley had the most tackle breaks last year out of all the centres so we will have to concentrate.”