A mother’s pride in her family of loyal Knights

Written by admin on 05/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil
Nanjing Night Net

Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil

Happy family: Mrs Mata’utia with her sons Pat, Sione and Chanel at Nobbys Beach. Photo: Marina Neil

Matalena Mata’utia’s eyes well with tears, and not because of the howling nor’easter blowing sand and grit from nearby Nobbys Beach.

Mrs Mata’utia is talking about her beloved boys, and how proud she is of them, and where they have come from, and what they have achieved. Those boys, Sione, Pat and Chanel Mata’utia, turned down offers from Canterbury to sign new three-year contracts with the Newcastle Knights two weeks ago. Being close to their mother, and continuing to represent their adopted home town and the club where they began their flourishing footy careers, is why they stayed.

“When they said they’d been asked by other clubs to go there, I said ‘Do what you have to do, but I’m not moving’,” Mrs Mata’utia said. “I’m settled here and I’ve gotten used to the life here. I think they felt like they wouldn’t do well without me but I wanted them to go and experience that for themselves if they wanted to. But they decided to stay because I said I wasn’t moving. I’m happy that they’re staying, but I’m just happy because they’re settled and they’re happy.” Mrs Mata’utia raised the boys, Sione’s twin sister Sylvia, and older siblings Josephine, Jana and Peter, mostly on her own. Working several jobs to keep the children fed, clothed and housed, she did it tough, initially in Sydney’s inner western suburbs around Bankstown and Liverpool, then relocating to Raymond Terrace and eventually resettling in Mayfield.

Though 18-year-old Sione is the baby of the family, he does most of the talking for 21-year-old Pat and 22-year-old Chanel. He has assumed the role of patriarch since 24-year-old Peter left the Knights to join St George Illawarra last year. “I’ve noticed that everything has to go through this boy, even though he’s the youngest, but it’s good for him to take control of things and learn how to handle things,” she said of Sione. “He makes decisions for himself and what’s suitable for him, but I’m proud of him that he’s 18 and he’s more of the leader of the group than the older boys. I’m happy and I’m proud of all them that they’re doing well for themselves but it wasn’t an expectation for me when I first put them into rugby [league]. All I did was throw them in there to get them off the street, but I didn’t expect them to go this far and be successful.”

Mrs Mata’utia said her allegiances were tested when the boys play each other, as they did several times last year, so she sits on the fence. Sione will be the family’s sole representative when the Knights play the Dragons on Saturday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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