Maitua denies Bulldogs payback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maitua denies Bulldogs payback

Steve Jancetic 19/07/2011 06:39:48 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta backrower Reni Maitua denies Friday night's meeting with Canterbury is payback time, but admits he'd enjoy getting one over the NRL club that showed him the door.

Maitua was sacked by the Bulldogs in December 2008 with a missed training session proving to be the last straw for the former Test lock.

It was the start of a shocking two-and-a-half years for the 29-year-old, whose stint at Cronulla in 2009 was cut short thanks to a two-year ban after testing positive to a performance-enhancing drug.

Having resurrected his career at the Eels in 2011, Maitua said that while he bore no ill feelings towards the Bulldogs, he would enjoy putting yet another roadblock in their NRL finals quest.

"You always want to play good against your own club and it's one of those occasions where people are going to give me a bit of stick. That's going to fire me up even more," Maitua said.

"I am looking forward to the challenge.

"It's a whole new club now - Bobcat's (Andrew Ryan) probably the only player that I played in the grand final with in 2004.

"A lot's changed there now but, having said that, it's been a while since I've been there. I've moved on."

Maitua has hardly put a foot wrong since making his NRL return against Brisbane three weeks ago, surprising many critics who felt he might have struggled to recapture the form which elevated him into Australian colours in 2006.

His ball-playing ability in the backrow has added a different dimension to the Eels and taken some of the playmaking pressure off Jarryd Hayne, who was on Tuesday finally handed the No.6 jumper after making a last-minute switch to five-eighth for the previous two games.

"The style they play, it's helped my game a lot," Maitua said of his adjustment to the side.

"I'm pretty happy with where I'm at at the moment. I just want to keep building momentum coming into the semis.

"I wasn't completely confident (I'd make an impact). I knew I'd done the hard work to get back on the field.

"Everyone seems to be really surprised that I might be playing alright but I know how much hard work I did to get back to this position."

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