London Broncos will test us, says Mata’utia

Castleford Tigers fullback Peter Mata’utia insists the Tigers won’t be ambushed on their trip to London today.

The Broncos shocked Wakefield in their opening-round encounter but Mata’utia is confident that the Tigers won’t suffer the same fate this weekend. Mata’utia faced London three times in Leigh colours last season, and although he tamed the Broncos on each occasion, he isn’t expecting an easy visit to the capital.

“Expect the unexpected,” Mata’utia said.

“I’m expecting it to be tough again, like last year. I thought they were very physical and they just hung in there.

“As a team, we take every game seriously and treat them all the same. We’re looking to get these two points, but it’s obviously going to be very hard, so we’ll do everything we can and hopefully, we can make it three from three.”

While Castleford won their opening two matches against Catalans (20-4) and Hull FC (26-18), neighbours Wakefield were stunned 42-24 in their season opener against London. But that round-one upset didn’t shock Mata’utia.

“A lot of people were surprised but I’m not sure why.

“A lot of people expected Wakey to win, but [London] are a great team. They’re very physical and they should do well this year.

“It’s going to be a tough game, especially down in London.”

Mata’utia joined Castleford last July, exiting Leigh amid financial difficulties. The former Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons star made eight appearances in the black-and-amber jersey in 2018 before enjoying his first pre-season with his new team-mates this winter.

“It’s been good to get a full pre-season under my belt at fullback,” Mata’utia said.

“It felt like too much of a rush last year, and I never really got to get the full potential out of the team just because I missed so much of the season.

“I’ve never been through something like that [mid-season transfer] before. It’s pretty overwhelming, but it’s great — if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have got the chance to be at Castleford now.

“It’s funny how it works, but you’ve got to make the most of it.”