The bizarre story of Steve Matai’s “disappearance” last week is more than meets the eye.
Former Manly players and officials were concerned about Matai’s well-being after the former prime minister-winning center moved away from the grid, moving with his family to the north coast of New South Wales and refusing to return messages.
Matai then released a statement that he was healthy and happy and going on with his life – and that he didn’t want to be noticed anymore.
But the real story – from one close to Matai – is that the ace Kiwi Test was not happy with how he parted ways with the Sea Eagles at the end of 2016.
Matai had another year under contract with the club and was more than happy to continue playing despite neck and shoulder issues.
But the club told him after more than 200 games that his services were no longer needed, gave him a payment and sent him back on his way.
The ending left Matai anything but happy, hence his decision to have little to do with the club in the years that followed.
BULLDOGS EYEING BRONCOS YOUNG GUN
Don’t be surprised if utility Broncos Cory Peace ends up at the Bulldogs next season.
The Dogs are looking for a halfback and a whore – and Peace can play both positions.
The 20-year-old has made his senior Broncos season debut since hell this year and has managed 13 games for the club under difficult circumstances.
The youngster has learned the hard way – but there is no doubt he will be a better player in the years to come.
THE REMARKABLE RESURGENCE OF PROP
Titans officials have been stunned by Lloyd Perrett’s application in training as he tries to win a contract with the club.
Perrett has lost 15kg since joining the Titans at the start of preseason training, after missing much of last season due to COVID cuts.
The former Manly and Bulldogs prop has more than 50 NRL games to his name and would be a practical addition to the club’s forward arsenal.
The 26-year-old has silky ball skills and is on course for a return to the NRL after being away for the past few seasons.
THE DRAGONS DO NOT CONTINUE AT THE LODGE AT REDUCED PRICES
The Dragons are the latest club to say “thank you but no thank you” to Broncos’ controversial supporter Matt Lodge.
The Broncos are so desperate to offload Lodge that they’re willing to pay $ 1.6 million out of his rich four-year contract.
The Dragons considered signing Lodge cheaply, but ended up opting for Eels prop Daniel Alvaro, which agreed to last week.
It looks more and more like the Broncos won’t be able to get rid of Lodge and he will be part of Kevin Walters’ squad again in 2021.