BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Ryan Matterson of the Eels reacts to the loss after the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium on October 03, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

This time last year Ryan Matterson was one of the game's top-level second-rowers. I may cop some blowback for this but he was riding high on the back of a second-straight massive season.

Unfortunately, his 2021 probably didn't live up to the expectations set by his previous two campaigns.

Injury and circumstances didn't help, but Matterson seemed just a step behind his former self.

Rumours have surfaced that the Eels are unwilling to offer Matterson an extension on his current deal. Given Parramatta's current salary cap setup, Matterson seems to have been ruled as surplus to requirements.

The fact that Matterson hasn't been re-signed, despite a mountain of transfer movements in Eels colours, suggests perhaps there is something to those reports.

Either way, as it stands right now, he is off-contract at the end of 2022 and other clubs can talk to him.

I have no doubt in the world that he will be picked up. I expect multiple clubs to express interest.

Below are the five clubs I believe will leave that chase and provide his eventual landing spot:


1. The Dolphins

I predicted in my 17 players the Dolphins should sign that Ryan Matterson would be on the club's radar. I still believe this will (or at least should) be the case.

Truthfully I'm shocked he hasn't been signed already to partner Kaufusi in the second row.

A rusted on first grader who has been linked to a spot in the New South Wales set up for many years now, Matterson isn't going to break the bank, while he will provide plenty on and off the field.

A Kaufusi/Matterson back row sets the tone. Two experienced players capable of both tackling themselves to a standstill as well as a game-breaking offload or line break.

The Fins are yet to name a huge money name. This time last year I considered Matterson a huge money name. Not so much anymore, which plays further into Wayne Bennett's hands.

Matterson's main criticism seems to be that he sees himself as better than he is. Bennett may be the coach to sit Matterson down and set him straight.

A fully focused, and hopefully fit, Matterson presents an incredible option for the fledgling club.

The literal second the stories came out that the Eels are unlikely to offer Matterson a contract, I expected the Dolphins to pounce.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Felise Kaufusi of the Storm looks on after being placed on report for a tackle on Ryan Matterson of the Eels during the round two NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Storm at Bankwest Stadium on March 18, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


  1. Very much doubt WT would entertain the idea with the way he waltzed out and dropped that match on the bridge behind him. That will be the lasting memory for both Bellamy and Bennett. Agree with the theory that he and Kaufusi would be a damaging backrow but both coaches have a no DH policy. Just my opinion but that’s how he presented himself. Maybe Robbo might have another look. After a few years looking for greener pastures, he might decide consistent success at a good club is worth a few less dollars in the short term.

Comments are closed.