As Masi Matongo prepares to play his 21st game of Super League this season tomorrow night, the prop forward is still getting to grips with the intensity of the top flight.
Due to a unrelenting injury crisis, the Zimbabwean has played more games than expected at the start of the season, but after gaining plenty of experience, the youngster is developing into a smart front-rower.
Whether it’s starting a game or coming off the interchange bench, Matongo insists that a high level of concentration is required in Super League.
“Even when I’m not involved on the ball, I’ve still got to make sure I’m around the action and pushing with my mate. You’ve always got to be switched on,” he told hullfc.com this morning.
“It’s very important that you’ve got to get into shape for the play that you’re going to run and that’s all happening at high speed, which is very different to the pace a few of us are used to at reserve or academy grade.
“Just being sharper and making sure that you’re on the ball in every minute of the game is the main thing for me. I just need to make sure I know where I am and that needs to be in and around the action.”
Hull head to the Totally Wicked Stadium tomorrow night missing eleven first-team players after this morning’s captain’s run was cut short due to three players dropping out through injury.
Carlos Tuimavave, Jamie Shaul and captain Danny Houghton all pulled up with injuries in the captain’s run, providing no let up on the injury front for Lee Radford.
Whilst the Black & Whites are down on troops, Matongo says Hull’s attitude won’t be affected and insists that they will head into the game in high spirits after ending last Friday’s game against Castleford so strongly.
“We were all working hard for each other in that game against Castleford and we spent a lot of time with our backs to our own try line and we defended hard for each other,” he said.
“Obviously we didn’t get the result but we finished the game on top and now it’s important that we keep pushing on and working hard to get back to winning ways.
“Us young boys don’t want to be seen as young boys - we’re all fighting to be the best we can be and working hard on the field to give absolutely 100%.” – Hull FC