Mata'utia brothers battle as St George Illawarra tackle Knights

Peter Mata'utia has no qualms about taking on his younger brothers when the Dragons play the Knights on Saturday. Picture: ADAM McLEAN
Peter Mata'utia has no qualms about taking on his younger brothers when the Dragons play the Knights on Saturday. Picture: ADAM McLEAN


After years rehearsing in some fierce backyard battles, Dragons centre Peter Mata'utia is relishing the chance to face younger brothers Chanel and Sione at Newcastle on Sunday.

The boom Newcastle youngsters have taken the NRL by storm in the latter half of the season, picking up five tries each in six games for the Knights since their debut in round 20.

Peter has also produced some late-season form, scoring two tries in four games since earning a top-grade recall for the Dragons hoodoo-breaking victory over the Raiders in round 23.

With both sides out of finals contention Sunday's match is a dead rubber to some but, if their backyard stoushes are anything to go by, the Mata'utia siblings won't be giving an inch.

"It was pretty even most games but it was pretty ruthless.

"We went pretty hard. [another brother] Pat lost a couple of teeth and Sione bled a couple of times to. I don't think it'll be any different this weekend," Peter Mata'utia said.

"We've always had the goal to make the NRL like every kid but to have three brothers play in the one game this week is pretty special."

The brotherly stoush adds spice to Peter's first match in Newcastle since leaving the club to link with the Dragons this year. He said the move was a challenge he needed after spending his junior career with the Knights.

"I left to come here to challenge myself again," he said.

"I didn't leave for any bad reason. Wayne [Bennett] wanted to keep me but I wanted to come and challenge myself more.

"I knew that I had to build my confidence back up to get to where I was and I thought backing myself to come down here would give me that confidence boost I needed.

"It will be a bit weird to play out there in a different jersey but it's very humbling and I'm very proud to wear this Red V jersey."

Fourth brother Pat - a NSW Cup standout with the Knights - is also waiting in the wings, putting the quartet's childhood dream of playing alongside each other in the NRL within reach but Mata'utia said he was committed to seeing out the final year of his Dragons contract under Paul McGregor next season.

"It'd be a big moment, we've always had it as a goal," Mata'utia said. "The Burgess brothers have done it. It's a hard gig but I think we're capable of doing it.

"I don't think anyone really knew how good Chanel and Sione were until they played NRL and Pat's not far off either.

"Maybe one day we can get together but at the moment my focus is with the Dragons. I've got one more year next year and I'll play it out.

"Mary's told me he wants to keep me ... I'm really happy here."


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