Season in Review: Ben Matulino



  • Season in Review: Ben Matulino
    Author Dan Talintyre Timestamp Fri 21 Sep 2018, 11:49 AM

    After an injury-interrupted start to 2017, Ben Matulino showed no problems with injury throughout 2018 as he produced a very strong debut year for the club.

    Not the headline-grabbing, metre-eating presence of others, Matulino’s strength throughout the year lied in his consistency. Playing the most games in a single season since 2013, the Kiwi international was a “set and forget” player each week for Wests Tigers and was a vital cog in Wests Tigers engine room as a result.

    Having retired from international football to focus further on producing his best at his new club, Matulino quietly racked up over 2100 metres and 600 tackles at an impressive 92.7 tackle efficiency rate.

    Closing in on 250 NRL games next season, the 29-year-old will no doubt look to produce another consistent season next year as he helps set the tone for Wests Tigers in the middle of the field.



    WHAT STOOD OUT IN 2018
    Matulino’s consistency throughout the year was what stood out in 2018, but when he did have a dominant individual performance, those games came at crucial times for Wests Tigers. He didn’t always post big numbers, but when he did, it was when his team needed them most. He racked up 138 metres and 35 tackles in the win over North Queensland back in Round 10 — a game that had the hosts on the verge of a four-game losing streak — before chalking up 127 metres and 28 tackles against the Canberra Raiders in Round 22 — helping end a run of heavy defeats against the Green Machine to stay in the finals hunt.



    WHAT’S TO COME IN 2019
    With Tim Grant and Sauaso Sue departing Wests Tigers, the opportunity will be there for some of the younger front rowers — Alex Twal, Oliver Clark, Thomas Mikaele and Josh Aloiai — to really step up in the middle of the field. The role of Matulino (and close friend Russell Packer) will certainly be key in how those players go about making the transition in to the NRL and making an impact in the top grade. Having two experienced, smart middles who know their role and go about it with little fuss, is a huge boost for the



    MILESTONES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
    Wests Tigers Debut — Round 1 vs. Sydney Roosters, ANZ Stadium (10/03/18)



  • Solid performer. Like Packer, he came here to play under Cleary. Hope they still continue to produce in 2019. One more genuine first grade prop is needed for 2019.



  • Soldi Form, great talent, good signing, goes hard. What more do we need :slight_smile:



  • @:

    Soldi Form, great talent, good signing, goes hard. What more do we need :slight_smile:

    A couple of forwards that take dirty hit ups and make 100m per game. Not forwards that take 3-4 tackles to walk back onside when the opposition kicks



  • His effort in Rd 6 against Manly was one of my favourite of any individual performance, this year from the team. We lost Packer the week before and he really stood up. I believe he played close to 60 mins and showed what he’s capable of. IMO it topped Brooks’ performance who I believe also had his best game of the year that day.



  • I think Cleary’s game plan has made a few of our forwards look worse than what they are. I get the emphasis on defence, but I’d like to see our forwards take more ownership of the ball in attack. Sides like Souths and Cronulla are brutal in defence and then roll down the middle in attack. I don’t see why our props can’t do the same.



  • @:

    @:

    Soldi Form, great talent, good signing, goes hard. What more do we need :slight_smile:

    A couple of forwards that take dirty hit ups and make 100m per game. Not forwards that take 3-4 tackles to walk back onside when the opposition kicks

    Spot on, Harvey.
    The whole “walking back” thing was on display from the Sharkies trial at Cambo.
    And sadly, it never really left . . .



  • @:

    I think Cleary’s game plan has made a few of our forwards look worse than what they are. I get the emphasis on defence, but I’d like to see our forwards take more ownership of the ball in attack. Sides like Souths and Cronulla are brutal in defence and then roll down the middle in attack. I don’t see why our props can’t do the same.

    Yep that’s what’s most frustrating, they’re only obvious job (from Cleary) is to get us in the grind. I wish we would actually land an absolute wrecking ball - this is what is needed to give us the ability to separate Packerlino. Makes you think how Wooodsy would’ve been like with them. I miss the impact Taupau brought off the bench and would love if he came back. Ahhh…one could only hope.



  • Cant say I was overly impressed…consistent they say? Nah

    90m average …but some games were much lower, yet they highlite his 2 best meter gaining games

    Defense was good…needs to improve, I want more meters



  • We were on top or at worst a level footing for a much greater percentage of the time and leaked a lot less points when Mats was on the field, than any of his contemporaries playing up front. Don’t have the stats, but a few on here could confirm so with the figures, or one could simply look back at a few games.



  • @:

    @:

    Soldi Form, great talent, good signing, goes hard. What more do we need :slight_smile:

    A couple of forwards that take dirty hit ups and make 100m per game. Not forwards that take 3-4 tackles to walk back onside when the opposition kicks

    point taken 😉


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