Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves – Peter Mata-utia keen to end time at Cas’ with one final hurrah
HE WILL be playing for them next year but, right now, Warrington Wolves stand between Peter Mata’utia and his Castleford Tigers goals.
Defeat at home to Warrington tonight in the final game of the regular campaign would end Castleford’s season and Mata’utia’s career at the club.
But Tigers will be in the play-offs if they win and that means that, although Mata’utia will follow coach Daryl Powell to Warrington in pre-season to begin a two-year deal, at the moment they are just another opponent.
“I know I am going to Wire, but that’s not until next year,” he stressed ahead of his final game at the Jungle as a Tigers player.
“I want nothing more than to beat them. If we win this week I am pretty sure we play them, again [in an elimination play-off] next week.
“At the moment, I have got no positive feelings towards Warrington because, obviously, I am still at Cas and they are in the way of me getting to where I’ve set goals.
“Ever since the first day I’ve been here, I’ve wanted to win trophies and they are in the way of that.”
Mata’utia added: “I will be doing my absolute best to try and get us into the play-offs and make sure this is not my last game for Cas.
“Personally, I have a lot to play for and knowing it is my last game at the Jungle hasn’t really sunk in yet.
“I am really excited about the prospect of making the play-offs.”
Mata’utia joined Tigers, initially on loan, from Leigh Centurions in 2018 and was part of their Challenge Cup final side at Wembley two months ago.
“I have loved every day since I’ve been here,” he said.
“Everyone knows Cas are not the richest club, so our biggest strength is the camaraderie and the culture we have.
“The culture at the club is outstanding, all the boys are good, they all get along.
“Even though I have signed away I wish I could have stayed but, for certain reasons, I haven’t.
“But I am going to miss these boys, I love them to bits. Ever since I signed at Wire there’s been a joke every now and then about they will come after me, but I am speechless about how much this club, or the playing group, means to me.”
Tigers slipped to seventh in the table after losing at Hull KR last week but still control their own destiny in terms of play-off qualification.
“We’ve had a couple of chances to put ourselves in there,” Mata’utia recalled.
“We have another chance this week and we hold our fate in our own hands.
“I think that’s why I am really excited.
“I want to play in the play-offs and I can’t wait.”
Mata’utia is not the only Tigers player saying farewell to the Jungle tonight.
Grant Millington and Michael Shenton will both retire at the end of this season, Oliver Holmes, who misses out with a neck injury, will join Mata’utia at Warrington and Jesse Sene-Lefao and Alex Foster are leaving the club.