Watene-Zelezniak keen to extend Tigers future



  • Watene-Zelezniak keen to extend Tigers future
    By James Buckley - 29 March 2018 — 4:15pm

    Malakai Watene-Zelezniak is playing for a new contract at the Wests Tigers this year, and the former Panther is desperate to stay at the joint venture after establishing himself on the wing under the tutelage of Ivan Cleary. The 26-year-old switched from Penrith in April last season, fighting off interest from Manly to land at Concord on a deal which runs through to the end of this year. But contract talks beyond this year are yet to begin for Watene-Zelezniak, who knows Monday’s clash with Parramatta represents another opportunity to prove to Cleary that he belongs in his long-term plans. “Hopefully I can try and work out something for a few more years to come,” Watene-Zelezniak said. "There was a bit of interest from Manly at the time but as soon as I found out that Ivan was coach here, there was no doubt about it, I wanted to come here. I pressed my manager to try and get me here.

    "I worked with him before at Penrith in my first year out of 20s. I just loved Ivan as a coach then - I just loved the way he coached. "I’m more than happy here, I’ve improved as a player and as a person, not only on field but off field as well. I’m loving the vibe here, I’m loving the culture so I’m happy. "I haven’t even spoken to my manager yet. He’s good in that way, he lets me focus on the field and he’ll deal with all the off-field contract talks. “At the moment I’m just focusing on playing some good footy and letting my footy do the talking.”

    Watene-Zelezniak is yet to score a try for the Tigers this year but he’s hardly in the minority - only three players have crossed the line in the opening three rounds. Their game has been built around the league’s best defence which has conceded just two tries en route to a pair of wins, and last week’s controversial golden-point loss to the Brisbane Broncos.
    “We’ve really prided ourselves on our strong defence, our attack will come but a good start to the season and we’re taking the confidence from it,” Watene-Zelezniak said. "We wanted to get that bit right, we wanted to get that down pat and I think at the start of the season we’ve been able to do that. "We have a focus on turning up for each other. If you miss a tackle you know that your mate’s going to be there next to you to help you out. “The improvement of our edge defence comes massively from our middle. Our middle’s been so dominant in the first opening rounds which gives us the confidence out wide.” The Tigers will chase their third win of the season against the struggling Eels at ANZ Stadium in their traditional Easter Monday clash. Five-eighth Benji Marshall is racing the clock to be fit for the game after rupturing two ankle ligaments against the Broncos.



  • Overrated.
    Would rather have Nofa & Thompson on the wing



  • Wouldn’t think too many clubs will beat down his door, so the ball will be in our court.



  • Needs to step up to retain his spot imo. He’s solid without being spectacular we should be looking to upgrade him if he doesn’t show a bit more. Would rather Thompson on the wing if we have a capable fullback.



  • Won two, got robbed in third, he must be okay



  • He’s the type of player you need in a squad. Will bust his gut for the team, is solid in any grade, knows he isn’t going to demand big coin so will go where he is happy and has an opportunity.

    I’ve heard our coaching staff love him because he is one of the fittest in the club.



  • Good player doesn’t let anyone down and is on the cheaper end of the scale. We have a lot of depth at wing Thompson, Nofa, Fonua, MWZ. He’s earnt his spot looks fit and fast this year must have trained the house down. I’d retain him at the right price.



  • A depth signing perhaps

    I think there might better quality options that we can look at as consistent first grade players come available



  • @:

    Good player doesn’t let anyone down and is on the cheaper end of the scale. We have a lot of depth at wing Thompson, Nofa, Fonua, MWZ. He’s earnt his spot looks fit and fast this year must have trained the house down. I’d retain him at the right price.

    Yep, agree with you TYGA. High level of commitment and scored the winning try against Manly last year. Has trimmed down this year. Hope we can keep him.



  • Guys like him are the backbone of any successful team. Happy to do the dirty work and gives his all every match. Brilliant effort on the kick off last week to retain possession and took a great catch at the end of first game too.



  • @:

    A depth signing perhaps

    I think there might better quality options that we can look at as consistent first grade players come available

    Yeah, a year or two extension perhaps, hopefully we can acquire some backs with real speed



  • I agree with most comments thus far. A squad of 30 needs to have plenty of grafters. MWZ fits the bill. Honest player who won’t let anyone down at a basement level price.



  • Playing better than Noffa



  • Playing better than his brother.



  • @:

    Playing better than Noffa

    Noffa the fan favourite ,MWZ takes 2 dangerous high balls against Roosters to keep the Tigers in the contest …MWZ quick thinking and great skill keeps ball in play to at least give the Tigers a shot at a win V Broncos … over the last 3 weeks I know which I would give an updated contract to .


Log in to reply
 

Recent Topics