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NRL DEBUT: Round 25, 2013 v St George Illawarra Dragons (Hunter Stadium)
It’s that time of the season again, NRL football is back and things are heating up. It is now time to take a look at last season’s big game and see what was in store for the Knights on their first rung-up into the competition.
FIRST GRADE APPEARANCES: 42
Fast forward to the end of the season, and I’ve got some interesting statistics to share with you. That’s right, it’s first grade appearances all the way down!
32 (8 tries)
Newcastle Knights were one of the most energetic and passionate teams to play in the NRL this season – when you had a very decent record of 16 wins from 28 games, including two impressive wins against the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks. However, when looking at a lot of the other sides around them, Newcastle certainly didn’t show as much passion as some others did during their matches…
A speedster who played his junior footy for the Knights and Wyong Roos, Peter Mata’utia made his NRL debut in 2013 as an 18-year-old.
Peter Mata’utia has been a consistent performer for the Newcastle Knights since his debut in 2013. The speedster played his junior footy for all three clubs and represented Australia at the 2013 Junior World Championships, winning gold with the Jillaroos and scoring a try as part of the team’s 20-12 win over England.
Mata’utia played in the centres for much of the 2016 season following a promising start by the Club’s outside backs.
Mata’utia played in the centres for much of the 2016 season following a promising start by the Club’s outside backs. The young man started in Round 14 against Wests Tigers and ended up playing almost the entire season at centre. He finished with nine matches and 42 points for the year, compared to 13 games, 44 points for Diggin’. His young career has been built on an aggressive style, best shown in his tackling numbers which have been impressive over time.
He scored a double against Canberra in round 21 and was one of the side’s best players in their historic win over Penrith the following week.
Newcastle Knights fullback Josh Dugan scored a double in his side’s win against Canberra, but the Knights’ best player was their coach.
In 2017 Mata’utia played 20 games, scoring four tries and averaging over 100 running metres per game.
Mata’utia has a big future ahead of him with the Knights and at just 20 years of age is playing more like a veteran NRL player. He made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2016, scoring four tries and racking up over 100 running metres per game. He was one of the best young players showing signs of great things to come both on and off the field
The talented outside back has been named as one of two club captains for 2018.
Knights’ outside back Dane Gagai has been named as one of two club captains for the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season. The 26-year-old joins Newcastle skipper Danny Levi as a captain for the year with an opportunity to wear the No.9 jersey for the first time in his career.