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Steve Mascord's Set of Six: Warriors play the man so Titans blow the whistle

Tweet fest: The Warriors targeted Titans player Greg Bird (right).

Tweet fest: The Warriors targeted Titans player Greg Bird (right). Photo: Getty Images

1. Club steps in where angels fear to tread

Gold Coast have hit back at the Warriors after the club's official Twitter account labelled co-captain Greg Bird a grub. At 3.23pm, the Warriors tweeted "Bird ... more like grub" to 53,159 followers after a dust-up in the 42-0 win over the Titans. Gold Coast media manager Neil Cadigan tells Set of Six: "I'm all for club tweets being parochial and clever but perhaps that crossed the line a bit – it's personal and the refs saw little in the incident." Until now, clubs have sometimes been guilty of retweeting comments like the one about Bird, rather than saying it themselves.

2. Bad news comes in threes

The apparent time-keeping error at the end of Manly-Penrith was the second mistake admitted by on-field officials during a match in one round – something that you can go years without hearing. Referee Matt Cecchin told Penrith's Jamie Soward "I asked for  [time out] 15 seconds ago and it took him 15 seconds to do it," later adding "Take it up with the NRL."  But Panthers coach Ivan Cleary says he won't bother.  "What's the point?"  Soward said on MMM at full time: "We're not going to be talking about [the football], are we? We were talking about something else ... from Broncos-Dragons and instead of a great Sunday afternoon between Penrith and Manly, we're going to be talking about something else." An NRL spokesperson said the issue would be looked at on Monday.

3. League leaves no one to talk to

If anything was exposed at the weekend, it wasn't that referees and time keepers are fallible. We already knew that. It's the wobbly training wheels of the NRL when it comes to dealing with meat-and-veg match-day crises in a timely and professional fashion. With no league media staff on hand at either Suncorp Stadium or Brookvale Oval, explaining the in-game errors was just too hard for the greenhorns of League Central. There was no way to independently verify Ben Cummins's apology to Matt Gillett and on Sunday two highly capable ground managers – with no media experience – were left addressing media when they had no idea why the timekeeper had failed to stop the clock. Getting statements from Cummins and the timekeeper should have been simple. You hire consultants and block the career paths of experienced staff so they leave, and this is what you get – amateur hour.

4. Knights rise again for Alex 

There was an aspect of Newcastle's 30-point win over Parramatta on Saturday that went through to the keeper.  "Wayne [Bennett] pointed out earlier that's the first game where Alex [McKinnon] has been here and we won," said veteran Knight Timana Tahu, "and we won well." McKinnon hasn't seen a Novocastrian victory in the flesh since he suffered his spinal injury. Captain Kurt Gidley told radio Triple M: "He was just in the sheds then and we got him in the middle to sing the song. It was a great feeling. We haven't won a game this year – which is disappointing – while Alex has been present, whether he's been on the field or whether he's been in the sheds. It was nice when we found out after the game he was here."

 5. You say Matautia, I say Matautia 

If you listened to a bit of radio commentary and a bit of TV during the Newcastle-Parramatta game, you're entitled to be confused. Brothers Sione and Chanel Matautia scored five tries between them  but on  radio they were "Mata-Utai" and on TV they were "Matowtia". That's because radio's Wendell Sailor asked their brother, St George Illawarra's Peter Matautia, how to pronounce it. He went for Mata-Utai. But when Set of Six asked Chanel his preferred pronunciation, he replied "Matowtia". We are still trying to reach Sione for comment as to how he says his own name. No doubt there's a third variation out there. 

6. The time to jump out was back there 

A couple of quirky moments on Saturday. A Holden Cup player stumbled over his words in a full-time interview on Fox and asked the interviewer, "Can we do that again?" "No," he was told, "this is live." And there were furrowed brows from Parramatta coach Brad Arthur and his assistant Peter Gentle at half-time when they got lost, ala Spinal Tap, on the way to the dressing room at the new Hunter Stadium. Things went wrong for the Eels even when they won the toss and elected to run with a giant gale at their backs. "I was hoping to lose the toss, to tell you the truth, and let them make a decision," Arthur said.

13 comments so far

  • The Titans upset cause someone called Bird a "grub"?Hell I thought he would take that as a compliment as while he is a a tough hard player he does let the grub side into his play a lot especially when losing so must think it works.Surely Hasler will want to sign him and train him up to be a better grub to replace Ennis altho Reynolds is well on way to that role.
    Sowards school boy screaming outburst at the referee is something that needs to be stopped.Whats done is done and if there is a real problem go through correct channels after the match-altho Cleary can't be bothered so it can not have been that bigger issue.And yes Soward people are talking about the play-you lost get over it matey.

    Date and time
    September 01, 2014, 6:22AM
    • Soward was happy to dawdle when he thought time was on their side, then when he needed some more time apprently it was someone else's fault. Not to mnetion at best a kick off retrieved by them would have been a 50/50 outcome. And then... they would have to have scored points to win. The Pnathers didn't lose because the time keeper took 15 seconds off the game.

      Date and time
      September 01, 2014, 3:56PM
  • Matautia is probably pronounced MA TA OO TIA and could mean "hit in the guts with a stone".

    Date and time
    September 01, 2014, 8:25AM
    • Very good, AuntieMavis, and that is the one of simplest way to show to correctly say Matautia.

      Date and time
      September 02, 2014, 9:21AM
  • My stepsons name has 3 a's and one i in it. It is very hard for Australians to pronounce names like this so he just goes for his nick name or pronounces it the way he knows the respondent will understand it. For Mata'Utia I expect "Matowtia" is the pronunciation most expected in New Zealand while "Mata-Utai" with the a and the i reversed would be the Australian equivalent.
    The name is of Samoan origin with an apostrophe indicating a glottal stop, so I don't think either pronunciation is correct rather "Mahtah-Utiah" might be closer.

    Date and time
    September 01, 2014, 8:45AM
    • Re: Bird

      If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..... lets call it a duck

      Date and time
      September 01, 2014, 10:59AM
      • I wish the Knights had never let Peter Mata'utia go. The Knights are apparently currently focused on "retention" but if history is any guide we often focus on retaining the wrong ones. I suspect Peter will go on to be a quality player at other clubs. Ennis, John Morris, Boyd Cordner are a few examples that spring to mind.

        Let's hope we hang on to his brothers.

        Date and time
        September 01, 2014, 11:58AM
        • With the amount of polynesian players in the NRL its about time commentators took the time to learn how to pronounce polynesian players names. Really its not that hard as all the vowel sounds are pronounced the same:
          a = Ahh
          e = Ehh
          i = Ee
          o = Aww
          u = Ooh

          Once you have that you can pronounce most names.

          It gets a bit harder with consonants like in Maori Wh (pronounced like F Whare, Whatuira etc) and Samoan G (Pronounced like Ng so Fa'alogo, Galuvao etc). We can blame the missionaries for that one.

          Fijian is another story... but theyre Melanesian.

          Date and time
          September 01, 2014, 12:35PM
          • Bird is indeed a grub and always has been as well as being a sook and a diver. Every time he gets tackled he tries to milk a penalty. No shame that fulla.

            Date and time
            September 01, 2014, 4:26PM
            • No 2 players try to milk penalties every time they are tackled like Inglis and Slater. Inglis in particular, his playing acting when tackled against the Dogs the other night was there for all to see.

              Date and time
              September 02, 2014, 12:20PM

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