Lae Snax Tiger centre Robert Mathias commends SP Hunters training and coaching level

Wednesday, 7 February 2024, 3:23 pm

Robert Mathias during pre-season training at the National Football Stadium [SP hunters Media]

As the SP PNG Hunters 2024 squad is progressing well into the training season, young Robert Mathias of Lae Snax Tigers is delighted about the new level of training and coaching he has acquired over the weeks with the SP PNG Hunters.

When asked why he chose rugby, young Mathias expressed that choosing rugby league is merely driven from self-determination and confidence but, that passion grew more after a session with Kumuls Centre Roderick Tai.

“I am new to this environment and most of the things I’m learning here haven’t been learnt in the Digicel cup but I’m thankful to God and have confidence in myself that I will progress well,” Mathias said.

SP PNG Hunters Head Coach Paul Aiton remarked Mathias is a fast learner.

 “He catches things fast and easy to coach him. I’m grateful for him,” Aiton said.

While reflecting back how far he came, Robert said it was the potential within him but he lacked the moral support.

 “I knew that I was good in playing but because my parents were quite strict, I couldn’t make a decision. I did not play during high school days or even in secondary but after I completed grade 12 exam that’s the time I started playing.

“When I got accepted at UniTech (PNG University of Technology), I teamed up with Rodrick Tai and we played together in the same club. Roderick was a great role model I looked up to and I also play for the position that he plays,” He added.

In 2022 Robert was selected by the Snax Tigers club and played few games but he was fortunate to play for the full season in 2023 and eventually crowned as the Best Centre of the Year by PNG Rugby League Football.

The 23-year-old Western Highlander who many people thought as Roderick’s younger brother is keen to follow in the footsteps of the PNG International.  

“Roderick is my great mentor and role model. He usually encouraged me to be disciplined which I am always grateful for. I see there is opportunity in rugby so I’m committed to play the footy,” Mathias reiterated.

Meanwhile, apart from his concentration in sports, Robert successfully completed a Bachelor of Accounting degree at the University of Technology in Lae last year and is looking forward to his graduation this year.