Rugby Union4 Jul 11 @ 03:02pm by Jon Geddes rugby union
Tevita Metuisela is on the radar of NSW. Photo: Virginia Young.
Shute Shield
Manly 32
Warringah 15

MANLY Marlins back-rower Tevita Metuisela has already played with the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Wests Tigers and the Western Force.

And his next stop could be the Waratahs because the Manly Daily understands that NSW are looking at Metuisela to boost their back-row strength for next season.

And the blockbusting forward really helped his cause with a slashing three-try performance for Manly in their win over arch rivals Warringah for the Bayfield Cup on Saturday at Narrabeen.

“I am playing for a contract and hopefully things will happen in the next couple of weeks,” Metuisela said.

“For now I will just keep working hard with these boys and hope to get some good wins and finish on a good note.

He was contracted to the Western Force this year but got few opportunities in a squad that included Wallaby back-rowers David Pocock, Ben McCalman, Richard Brown and Matt Hodgson.

“It was a bit frustrating but the opportunity I got was a bonus,” he said.

“Working under those four guys I really learnt a lot and it really helped my game and made me a better player.”

Metuisela is still in discussions with the Force and continues to train with their Sydney-based players at St Joseph’s College.

And he really was a standout against the Rats with a dynamic performance with the ball in the tight forward exchanges.

“He carries the ball very well and he is strong defensively and he is a tough bugger as well,” said Manly coach Tim Lane.

“And he just has that experience now from being with the Force.”

The 27-year-old’s football journey started when he went straight from Narrabeen Sports High to join the Sydney Roosters in 2002.

After a couple of seasons there he moved to the Storm for a year and then had three seasons with the Wests Tigers.

His is now in his third season back in rugby and showing the benefits from his time in the NRL.

“You have to be up for these local derbies,” Metuisela said.

“Warringah didn’t look like a team that was coming last and for them it was like a grand final.”

What particularly pleased Lane was how his team controlled the ball in what was a complete turnaround from the previous week against Gordon.

With great conditions the constant whistleblowing from referee Angus Gardner meant constant stoppages which frustrated the big crowd.

“I’m a bit of a purist, I love playing and I love ball in hand footy and there must have been 30 minutes tied up in repacking scrums,” said Warringah coach Sam Harris.

“We had a good crowd at Rat Park and they got a good spectacle of us digging in and them being clinical - but potentially for what it could have been I didn’t think it came up to the mark.”