Matulino creates an NRL first in 100th game

Tuesday 19 June 2012 6:05 PM
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Vodafone Warriors prop Ben Matulino created an even more significant slice of history than initially thought when he appeared in his 100th NRL game in Saturday night’s encounter with Cronulla.
Checks have confirmed he didn’t merely become the first Vodafone Junior Warriors NYC graduate to play 100 first-grade games for the club; he is indeed the first NYC product from all 16 clubs to achieve the feat since the Toyota Cup’s came into existence five years ago.
A foundation NYC player in 2008, Matulino also made his first-grade debut as a 19-year-old the same season.
Having played every match in 2010 and 2011 – 53 in all – the Wellington-born and raised forward started the 2012 season with 86 appearances, two more than Parramatta halfback Chris Sandow, a South Sydney NYC player in the under-20 competition’s opening season.
In his 14th game of the year on Saturday night – his 67th consecutive appearance – Matulino became the 20th player to reach the 100-game mark for the Vodafone Warriors since the club’s debut in 1995.
Sandow, who has played 12 times for the Eels this year, is set to become the next NYC graduate to bring up his 100th appearance, sitting on 96 at the moment.
It says much for the Vodafone Warriors’ commitment to its development policy that Matulino’s front row partner Russell Packer is in line to become the third NYC product to amass 100 NRL appearances. Packer, like Matulino, also made his NRL debut in 2008 and currently sits on 91 NRL games.
Matulino, only 23, has the further distinction of having already played in 12 Tests for the Kiwis including the 2010 Four Nations final triumph against Australia at Suncorp Stadium.
Other NYC graduates closing in on 100 NRL games are Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough (91), his team-mate and Kiwi back rower Alex Glenn (89) and Canterbury-Bankstown prop Aiden Tolman (89).
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
9,212
Auckland
He was talked about as the games premier front rowers at one stage. That was a small window when he was at his peak, probably brought down due to a combination of injuries, coaching changes here etc.

He was in a rut here so moving on was a good decision for both parties. Get him into a fresh environment and at the time a familiar coach.
 

BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
8,190
Who knows what Ben could have been. Just seemed so fucking lazy and happy to collect paycheques like the rest of us instead of trying to be the best.

Was deff one of my favourites when he was going well.

Nah

Can’t agree with that mate.

I believe he was badly guided here. Came back too early from injury, was given bad advice on his diet, and also played out of position at times. disillusioned when Clearly left.

At his peak, one of my most favourite forwards to watch. Unstoppable. Like a tank.

Another Warrior tragic. Could have been a Bromwich 2.0 if he played for the Storm.

Wish him all the best.
 

Ever Hopeful

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Feb 24, 2013
2,602
He was very good, but became a little lost when they banned the shoulder charge, he used to really smash blokes!

Good luck for the future.

It used to fire him up. Him and Packer seemed to challenge each other to hurt the opposition. That dissipated though, he seems to lack that competitive edge that a lot of less able players have. Definitely a guy that could have done with more mongrel.

Loved watching him play in the early days, and even towards the end he gave me hope that he'd come right - especially when he was allowed to start offloading again.
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
16,702
He’s been banged up for a long time in fairness. Never got the plaudits he fully deserved in my books. Not a leader of men, but great footwork, wonderful offload, solid defender and I wish him well in his life post rugby league.
Phil Gould once rated him the best prop in the game. THE BEST...not one of the best, because his co-commentator asked him.
 

Ever Hopeful

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Feb 24, 2013
2,602
He was much more of a player than the shoulder charge. I watched him when he was young and the way he used to chase and cover in defence.

Didn't say he wasn't. In fact I said that the shoulder charge used to fire him up as well as a partnership with Rusty to do all of those other facets. Everything else flows from that. Plus he was part of a well-rounded forward pack at the stage, whereas later he had to take on the leader mantle with little support. Dulled him of his ball playing ability as a prop, making him a bit one-dimensional.
 

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
6,047
Whenever I think about mutts I can’t help but think of sonny fai too.
I remember reading they were pretty close and idk.... I just think some of our guys just lost that bit of passion for the sport when sonny left us.
We had such a great group of young forwards coming through then and I wonder how some careers may have been different if not for that fateful day.
 

dean

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 13, 2016
1,129
His biggest mistake was staying at Mt Smart too long. As someone mentioned, poor conditioning, poor injury management wouldn't have helped his motivation.
Anyone know what his plans are for life after NRL. I hope he has been wise with his money.
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,747
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
Think some have short memories. He was stellar for us in 2015 and won our Player of the Year award. Was never showy, loud or over the top but he did his job and was very good at it for a long time. I did feel he had stagnated towards the end of his time with us and he probably knew it which is why he took a paycut to join the Tigers. Apart from the sleeping pill fiasco I have nothing but fond memories of him. One of the Warriors best home grown props to date...
 

brightman

1st Grade Fringe
May 18, 2012
3,659
Auckland
Think some have short memories. He was stellar for us in 2015 and won our Player of the Year award. Was never showy, loud or over the top but he did his job and was very good at it for a long time. I did feel he had stagnated towards the end of his time with us and he probably knew it which is why he took a paycut to join the Tigers. Apart from the sleeping pill fiasco I have nothing but fond memories of him. One of the Warriors best home grown props to date...
He's the reason JWH couldn't get a Kiwis jersey for so long during the Kiwis most competitive and successful period..
 
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