2016 fin­ish: Fi­nals week three

Rugby League Week - - Nsw Cup -

The coach says: Greg Mat­ter­son has been head coach since 2008, lead­ing the Jets to the 2012 ti­tle. So how does he get the best out of his sides? “I don’t set goals be­cause our sea­son is con­trolled by what hap­pens above . . . we just want to make sure that we com­pete hard and if we get beat they at least earn their win – we don’t hand it to them,” he re­veals. Fiveeighth Josh Clee­land and hooker Matt McIl­wrick have moved on and Mat­ter­son ad­mits they’ll be hard to re­place. “They weren’t just good, tough, hon­est foot­ballers, they were real good club­men,” he says. “They put their bod­ies on the line ev­ery week and re­ally wanted to win.”

Player to watch: Ex­pected to wreak havoc at Henson Park this sea­son is 20-year-old Tepa Fuiavailili. Mat­ter­son pre­dicts the 200cm front-rower will be a colos­sal fig­ure in the pack as he makes the step up to NSW Cup from un­der-20s. Back in 2014, while at­tend­ing Ip­swich State High, the young­ster was chased by four clubs and two codes, and Mat­ter­son is thrilled Cronulla won out. “The two front-row­ers we had graded this year, Kurt Dillon and Malakai Houma, who are both full-timers now, I see Tepa as sim­i­lar to those guys. He’ll spend maybe a sea­son with us and then he’ll be taken on full-time.”

KEY GAINS: Manaia Cher­ring­ton, Luke Tow­ers, Alec Bush

KEY LOSSES: David Fi­fita, Josh Clee­land, Matt McIl­wrick, Jesse Sene-Le­fao, Ja­cob Ga­gan, Lach­lan Stein, Mitch Brown

TOW­ER­ING INFERNO At 200cm, prop Tuia Fuiavailili should rock a few op­po­si­tion for­wards.

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