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Suaia Matagi hitting it up

Barnstorming forward Suaia Matagi - pictured about to score against Canberra - gave the Vodafone Warriors two players in the team of the tournament at the NRL Auckland Nines. Photo: Photosport

It said much for the team's overall performance that two players were chosen despite the Vodafone Warriors being eliminated at the semi-final stage.

With four tries in his first four outings, Vodafone Warriors captain Shaun Johnson was an automatic choice.

For Matagi the honour added to what has been a remarkable past 12 months. It started with him earning a fulltime NRL contract after being on trial in the offseason.

He went on to make his NRL debut against the Bulldogs, playing 11 first-grade games, being named in the New South Wales Cup team of the year and representing Toa Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup.

The title-winning Cowboys dominated the tournament team.