December 4, 2021

Sione Mata’utia breaks silence on poor post-Kangaroos selection form

1 min read

Newcastle flyer Sione Mata’utia has revealed to the overwhelming pressure to perform made it impossible for him to do just that.

Mata’utia burst onto the scene after only a handful of matches and was selected for the Australian Kangaroos –as the the youngest player ever selected beating Brad Fittler’s record.

“I didn’t know how to cope,” he said.

“It was a lot for me to handle as a teenager.

“The harder I tried, the worse things got. I felt like I had to score on every play and the pressure was getting too much for me.

“The more I thought about it, the harder I tried and the worse things got. In the end I didn’t want to play. I just wanted to get away.”

Mata’utia even admitted that supporting and proving his worth to his family was also detrimental to his form.

“It was hard at the start because I had to grow up pretty quickly,” he added.

“There’s an expectation from your family to provide (but) most of the expectations come from the players themselves. You’re expected to play to the dollar value of your contract.

“Coaches expect you to play a certain way and some players deal with it better than others.

“It’s something players have to go through.”

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