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Maumalo's emotional reunion with brother ahead of milestone match

Ken Maumalo listened to congratulatory messages in Samoan and caught up with his brother Asofa for the first time in five years amid celebrations for his 100th NRL appearance on Friday.

On the eve of a meeting with Manly, Warriors players enjoyed lunch to honour Maumalo’s milestone and the club flew Asofa from Melbourne to the Central Coast, while other family members paid tribute to him during a video call.

The brothers hadn’t seen each other for five years and it was an emotional reunion as video highlights of Maumalo’s career so far were played, including many of his 37 tries.

His partner Lereno presented the 26-year-old international with his 100th Warriors jersey and their son Leighken was also present.

"It is a great occasion for Kenny to play 100 games for the Warriors," assistant coach Justin Morgan said.

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“We had a bit of a formal chat and his brother got up on stage which is great. I suppose from a footy point of view the best part is listening to ex-team-mates or ex-players or people who played a big part in his life, including his mum and dad.

"He had a number of other family members on the video call wishing him and congratulating him for what he has achieved.

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"I think it was a nice moving moment for Ken to listen to those messages from his family. A lot of the messages were in Samoan and I couldn’t understand what they were saying but you could tell they were really resonating with Kenny."

Maumalo is considered one of the best wingers in the game but many of the tributes were about how hard he worked after managing just 18 appearances and two tries in his first two seasons with the Warriors.

However, he established himself in 2017 and a year later made his Kiwis debut in the Denver Test against England before winning the Dally M winger of the year award in 2019.

Last season Maumalo scored five tries in eight matches for the Warriors before returning home from the team’s Central Coast camp to be with Lereno and Leighken as they were unable to come to Australia.

"Considering the way Kenny started his career - to be fair it was a little bit scratchy, in and out of the team for a little while - he's worked really hard," Morgan said.

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