Peace of mind for big Ben after guarantee from Madge

Wests Tigers prop Ben Matulino insists a recent conversation with coach Michael Maguire has left him reassured he’ll see out the remaining two seasons of his contract as recruitment and retention talk intensifies at Concord.

Matulino is one of several players the Tigers are rumoured to be shopping around to rival clubs, with the joint venture 11th on the Telstra Premiership ladder after suffering their third straight loss.

The former Kiwi international joined the club in 2018 and has featured in every game for the Tigers this year, but the impending signature of Parramatta prop Tim Mannah has left everyone on their toes.

“I’ve been told by Madge I’m here for two more years,” Matulino said on Tuesday.

"When I was at the Warriors this sort of stuff happened and guys were getting shopped around. I guess maybe it’s my turn, I don’t know, but I’ve been assured by Madge I’ll be here for the next two years.

"He’s told the guys individually if we’re staying or not, and he’s told me I’ve got two more years. When it first came out I rang my manager and he said he hadn’t heard anything from anyone.

“Then he called me and said I can guarantee you you’re not leaving.”

Matulino has struggled to make in-roads since moving to Concord from the Warriors two years ago, averaging just 77 metres per game in 2019 – his lowest figures in a decade.

But the 30-year-old, who is nearing 250 NRL games, said he felt no pressure after arriving to the club as a touted replacement for former captain Aaron Woods.

“There’s no pressure there I don’t think,” Matulino said.

“You’ve just got to go out there and try your best and the wins will come. We’re under pressure at the moment. It’s three losses on the trot and we’ve lost against a lot of top four teams. We need to turn things around.”

The Tigers are unlikely to have the services of Mannah this week with Parramatta yet to officially announce the veteran prop’s release.

Maguire’s side will leave Sydney for North Queensland on Wednesday morning, leaving Mannah little time to settle in to his new surroundings and prepare for the clash.

“I’m looking forward to it, he’s a really nice guy and can only boost our team,” Matulino said of Mannah.

“I’ve known Timmy since 2008 with the under 20s and got along really well with him. He’s got a lot of experience.”

Was probably only ever the media making assumptions. Good to hear, he’s probably the last of that supposedly shopped group of players I’d like to see go.

He has the full support of the Board…good to see

This is already posted in the signings thread

He looked nervous on tv …

@tigerap said in Peace of mind for big Ben after guarantee from Madge:

He has the full support of the Board…good to see


@hobbo1 said in Peace of mind for big Ben after guarantee from Madge:

He looked nervous on tv …

His a very quiet person in general (introvert personality).


Strong silent type.

I’d like to see more for him think he has it in him but hasn’t done much this year. Maybe some help in the forwards will help him too if mannah can get us on the front foot

One of the worst props in the NRL.

ONE tackle break all season.


Even Tim Mannah averages 1 a GAME.

Every prop with heart averages 1 a game. Most, more…

Matulino walks into the D, accepts the tackles and gets up slow.

When was the last time anyone saw him charge into the D? Fight to break a tackle?

last edited by ElleryHanley

@ElleryHanley Unfortunately his bad knee really effects the way he plays these days.

Not really strong silent type. More a soft bludging type.

Fire up dude.


The knee has taken away all his aggression?

I can understand the physical limitations, but at least fire up a bit. He is a 6 foot 4 prop, takes on the line like a small fullback.

It is a real concern if Madge has told him he is one of the ones staying.

So if what Matulino said is true the players going know they are going

Even NRL players aren’t that thick @happy_tiger …of course they know…

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