Sione Mata’utia hoping to savour Old Trafford after earlier Wembley heartbreak

SIONE Mata’utia hopes to go behind enemy lines at Old Trafford after missing out on Wembley.

And SunSport understands it is likely the St Helens man will escape a disciplinary charge after being sin-binned for a ‘high’ tackle in Friday’s semi-final win.

 St Helens' Sione Mata'utia looks likely to get the all clear to play in the Grand Final

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St Helens’ Sione Mata’utia looks likely to get the all clear to play in the Grand FinalCredit: SWPIX.COM

That means the former Australia star would set his sights on being a Liverpool fan celebrating at the home of rivals Manchester United and wrecking James Maloney’s career farewell.

Mata’utia was yellow carded for hitting Leeds’ Luke Briscoe around the neck but the Rhinos player was on his way down after slipping.

That should mean the Match Review Panel will not issue a charge today, leaving the 25-year-old free to face Catalans Dragons.

But he will not be following in his football heroes’ footsteps – after being born in Liverpool, New South Wales, he did not really have a choice.

Mata’utia said: “I had a dilemma coming over here, I had to support a football club but I’m a Liverpool fan.

 Mata'utia admits he is a Liverpool fan as he was born in Liverpool, New South Wales

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Mata’utia admits he is a Liverpool fan as he was born in Liverpool, New South WalesCredit: ST HELENS RFC

“I was born in a hospital in Sydney called Liverpool so I thought I might as well support them.”

Mata’utia would love to play at Old Trafford after being suspended for Saints’ Challenge Cup final win in a match which will provide a storyline.

Either Saints pull off a three-peat of title victories or Dragons half-back Maloney rides into retirement on the ultimate high.

And having face the 35-year-old in the NRL, he knows his laid back attitude makes him so dangerous.

He added: “The thing about James is that he’s a big game player. He’s played in the biggest arenas and he plays with a short memory, he doesn’t let any errors get to him.

 St Helens hope to avenge the Magic Weekend loss to the Dragons

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St Helens hope to avenge the Magic Weekend loss to the DragonsCredit: SWPIX.COM

“He plays what he sees and is really difficult to defend against. He’s what you call a footy player – he plays what’s in front of him.

“He’s not really structured, although his team will have a structure and he’ll play off the back of it. He just pays what he sees and is a genuinely good rugby player.

“I’ve played against him many times – he’s a talented player for sure and he’s still got it at his age.”

Last time Catalans and Saints met, the Dragons came back from 30-12 down to pull off a 31-30 golden point Magic Weekend victory.

Should Kristian Woolf’s men get in a similar position, there will be no thinking about the beers before they can actually hit them.

 Saints will face League Leaders Shield winners Catalans at Old Trafford

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Saints will face League Leaders Shield winners Catalans at Old TraffordCredit: SWPIX.COM

And having to watch his team-mates lift the Challenge Cup still rankles.

Mata’utia said: “It still hurts now just thinking about it. It was just disappointing because we set the platform for 60-65 minutes and they didn’t look like they were going to bounce back.

“I think we were thinking about beers on the bus after the game already, they came back, capitalised on plenty of opportunities and got the win at the end.

“We’ve learned from that and Wembley hurt because I was just so invested into it. But this one is one I’ve been working to personally since coming over here

“I didn’t want to come over here and have a holiday – I wanted to come to a club that was going to win Grand Finals.”

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