News

Posted: Monday 9th August 2021

Mata'utia: "Keep fighting"

The Tigers' centre reflects on the win over Leeds, his first game back after suffering from Covid-19.

In a message shared across his own personal social media channels, Peter revealed that a consequence of contracting coronavirus meant he had lost a staggering nine kilograms of weight.

“I knew it was a horrible thing, but it is something I will never take lightly again," Mata'utia told castlefordtigers.com.

"It hit me pretty hard but I was also more worried for my wife who is pregnant with twins. That was one of the battles I was going through.

“To everyone who has had it, or who is going through it, keep fighting.”

Mata'utia said he could certainly feel the effects of losing the weight he did in the closing stages of the clash against the Rhinos.

“I think with about 10 to go I really felt it, I just laid on the ground when Greg (Eden) scored. My chest started to tighten up and I was just trying to suck as much air as I could in.

The match at Emerald Headingley Stadium came following an isolation period, as well as return to play protocols, which resulted in three weeks without playing for Pete, who was thrilled to come away from the home of the Rhinos with the important two league points.

“It was a tough one, but we got through it and luckily, we had Jimmy (Keinhorst) on the bench! It was fun, I love derby games.

The final score of Castleford’s Round 18 victory came from a former Rhino in Jimmy Keinhorst, who joined the Tigers recruited on a two-week loan period due to the number of First Team players missing.

As is the norm, all the Fords men welcomed Keinhorst into the Cas environment, as Pete alludes to.

“I try make every new player feel as comfortable as I can, it was good to see him get that try, he’s a good bloke.”

With Castleford currently sat outside the top six in the Betfred Super League table, the hunt of a playoff place is well and truly on. Combined with this being Mata’utia’s final season as a Tigers player, he is keen for the Fords to be in the post-regular-season mix.

“I think that’s the biggest reason why I tried to get back as quick as I could. It’s important for me, I want to make the top six, there is a lot of boys here who deserve to make semi-finals and finals again.

"I have the utmost respect for Shenny (Michael Shenton), I’m pretty close with him and I want to see him play again this year before the season ends. That’s one of my reasons why.”