29 May 2012

Matai opts for early guilty plea

6:29 pm on 29 May 2012

The Manly centre Steve Matai will miss the defending National Rugby League champions next two games, after opting for an early guilty plea to a high tackle charge.

The Kiwi international knocked out Penrith's Danny Galea with a swinging arm in the Sea Eagles' loss to Panthers on Sunday.

Matai will miss Friday's game against St George Illawarra and next week's encounter against competition leaders the Melbourne Storm.

Matai has a history of similar offences and missed the first four games of last season as he served out the remainder of a seven-match ban carried over from the 2010 season.

The Manly coach Geoff Toovey says the club was reluctant to accept the ban but the risk of losing Matai for an extended period, had they contested the charge was too great.