The antics of Steve Matai continued last night in the Australia vs New Zealand Rugby League Test, won by the Kangaroos 12-8 at AAMI Park Melbourne.
Much was said by Matai before this match, the Manly centre citing the need to ‘protect’ his team mate Keiran Foran in the heat of battle.
We’ve been following Matai for several weeks now, reporting on his habitual need to lay down injured at least once or twice in every single match he plays.
He didn’t take long to get up to his old tricks, Matai again going down after yet another seemingly innocuous tackle. So quick was Matai’s call to the trainers that it nearly beat his all-time injury record, a record set last season at Brookvale Oval – when Matai called for a trainer before a ball had been kicked, apparently getting a slight knock during the Sea Eagles warm-up.
What made it even more disturbing was that it was only Matai’s second touch of the ball, he took a standard hit-up and was tackled in regulation fashion, remaining on the turf until trainers arrived. The game was only minutes old and the Manly man was looking for a lay down.
This has been the case for much of Matai’s career, but despite the spotlight now being shone on the Kiwi representative at both club and International level for his unusually high on-field injury rate – he remains intent on staying down.
You could understand it if it was a major injury and required time off the field – but yet again, after Matai was seemingly seriously injured – he springs back to his feet and will throw himself into defence.
At one stage he pulled off a massive late hit on Billy Slater that cost his side a penalty. Certainly an usual move for someone with an apparent chronic or serious injury.
Come on Steve, what the hell is going on?
You weren’t staying down for a penalty this time, because the tackle was totally regulation. You weren’t seriously hurt, because you jumped to your feet soon after.
Is it a ploy to get a drink of water? Well scratch that idea, this was the second tackle of the game. You couldn’t be doing a decoy water call that early could you?
We’re dying to know Steve, please tell us? Oh we shouldn’t say dying, wouldn’t want to cry wolf now would we?