7 Sep 2010

Kiwis coach says Matai must change

6:43 pm on 7 September 2010

New Zealand's rugby league coach Stephen Kearney says Manly centre Steve Matai needs to reassess the way he plays after being banned from the NRL finals and Four Nations Test series.

Matai and the Sea Eagles co-captain Jason King will both miss Manly's must-win qualifying final clash with minor premiers St George Illawarra on Sunday after taking early guilty pleas to high tackle charges,

While King will return the following week if Manly can pull off a big upset Matai will not be seen on the field again at least until round three next year.

He doesn't even get to count New Zealand's Tests in the upcoming Four Nations series as part of his seven match ban as he hadn't been chosen in the Kiwis' tournament squad yet.

Kearney says Matai's latest ban is disappointing and he needs to look at ways of remaining aggressive but within the laws of the game.