‘Blood everywhere’: Star sees light side of dust-up

Manly slugger Josh Aloiai delivered a priceless response when quizzed on the dust-up involving Josh Schuster and a Sea Eagles reserve-grade player, which was split up by Aloiai’s hulking 106-kilogram frame.

Fresh drama is surrounding the maligned Schuster after it was revealed the rising playmaker got in a blue with Blacktown Workers utility Dean Matterson, the younger brother of Eels second-rower Ryan Matterson, at a team barbecue last week.

Schuster jibed Matterson about his haircut, sparking a scuffle in which punches were allegedly thrown.

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Aloiai was in a humorous mood as reporters peppered him with questions about the tussle in Brookvale on Monday.

“It was the most violent thing I’ve ever seen, there was blood everywhere,” Aloiai joked.

“You would love that, wouldn’t you?

“No Limit (boxing promotion company), there’s no fight to be matched here.

“It was no big deal, really. You see it all the time, but when there’s people there, Chinese whispers, things get worse and worse. Just a bit of a laugh now, really.”

Aloiai claimed the seriousness of the run-in had been blown out of proportion.

“It was something that happens pretty often, but a lot of the time there’s no people there to report on it. The more people talk about it the bigger it gets. They add GST, like the ATO.

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“When you get 35 highly competitive men in an environment for 40-plus hours a week things boil over sometimes. I’ve been involved, most people have been involved in little bits and pieces over time, and usually you laugh about it and tease each other about it afterwards. That’s already what’s happening.

“Don’t try to disconnect us. We’re all good.”

Manly front-rower Taniela Paseka said Schuster and Matterson had taken matters too far but had made peace.

“I heard them scuffling, it sort of went a bit too far, but then they kissed and hugged the day after and it’s all good,” Paseka said.

“That stuff happens. There’s a lot of testosterone around the room.

“But they made up and it’s all good now.”

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Of the report that Wests Tigers are chasing Schuster’s signature, a jovial Aloiai quipped, “My son’s not going anywhere”.

On Sunday, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas reported that Wests Tigers were in talks with Schuster’s management, despite the fact he’s contracted to the Sea Eagles until the end of 2024.

The Tigers spotted an opportunity to pounce after Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans made colourful comments about Schuster, who’s only played three NRL games this season due to injuries.

“I have been playing long enough to see so many people at this club not maximise their opportunity,” Cherry-Evans said.

“That is rugby league, mate. If you’re not willing to work hard enough, if you’re not willing to sacrifice, you just don’t last long.

“He is at a crossroads early in his career but it can be a real positive.

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“This doesn’t have to be a negative for him. Spending some time away to get his body right, this could be a defining moment where he takes off to that level we all know he can.”

Aloiai backed Schuster, a damaging ball-runner with silky passing and kicking games, to untap his tremendous potential.

“There’s a really clear plan about how we want to get him back to his best at the moment,” Aloiai said.

“As a young kid, he couldn’t have more people that really care about him and support him. So that’s the most positive thing; there’s a plan, he’s got people around him who care about him.

“Very soon we’ll have Joshy at the best.

“He’s going to be massive for our team because we need him and he’s helpful.”

Sea Eagles winger Jason Saab made similar comments about Schuster.

“He’s a talented player and we’re a better team when he’s fit and playing,” Saab said.

“He’s obviously having to dodge a bit of adversity at the moment in his career.

“He’s just got to work hard and he knows this, as well. Everyone’s bashed him enough for it. I’m pretty sure he knows. He’ll be fine. He’ll train hard for the next few weeks and get the right people around him and come back better.”

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