Reni Maitua

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Reni Maitua
Aviator.JPG
Personal information
Nickname Tooty
Born (1982-06-11) 11 June 1982 (age 32)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Playing information
Position Second-row, Lock, Centre, Five-eighth
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2004–2008 Canterbury Bulldogs 100 23 0 0 92
2009 Cronulla Sharks 8 0 0 0 0
2011–2013 Parramatta Eels 53 6 0 0 24
2014– Canterbury Bulldogs 10 0 0 0 0
Total 171 29 0 0 116
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2005 City Origin 1 0 0 0 0
2006 Australia 1 0 0 0 0
2013–2014 Samoa 2 0 0 0 0

Reni Maitua (born 11 June 1982 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the National Rugby League (NRL). An Australian and Samoan International representative player, he previously played for the Bulldogs RLFC, with whom he won the 2004 premiership. Maitua's position over time has varied between utility forward, backrow, lock forward, centre and he can also play five-eighth.

Early life[edit]

Reni Maitua attended Daceyville Public School.Reni Maitua started playing rugby league as a youngster from the encouragement of his parents, playing for both the Coogee Randwick Wombats and Kensington United as well as brief stints at La Perouse United and the Maroubra Lions. Maitua then played for South Sydney Juniors which form part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Maitua comes from a Samoan background.

Rugby league career[edit]

2002-2008: Signing with the Bulldogs[edit]

Maitua signed with Sydney's Bulldogs club in 2002 but did not make his National Rugby League début until Round 1 of the 2004 NRL season against the Parramatta Eels on 13 March. Maitua played for the Bulldogs' from the interchange bench in their 2004 NRL grand final victory over cross-town rivals, the Sydney Roosters. As 2004 NRL premiers, the Bulldogs faced Super League IX champions, the Leeds Rhinos in the 2005 World Club Challenge. Maitua played at second-row forward in the Bulldogs' 32-39 loss. In season 2005, Maitua had an up and down season, suffering an ankle injury in the trial game against South Sydney Rabbitohs missing up to six games. His return showed he was in good form and was then named in the City Origin squad. But during that game he also suffered another ankle injury which made him sit on the sidelines for nearly half the competition. Maitua had been selected in the Prime Minister's XIII side to take on Papua New Guinea national rugby league team.

On 27 April 2006, it was revealed that Maitua had been charged with drink driving. The Bulldogs fined Maitua $15,000 over the incident as well as dropping him to Premier League for one week. Maitua was also required to attend an alcohol awareness program and to participate in a community service program. He was also needed to appear in Sutherland Local Court on 18 May where a plea of guilty was entered on his behalf. He will be required to make a personal appearance for sentencing on 3 August. In the meantime, his licence is suspended and the court was told that Maitua will complete a traffic offenders education program before his sentencing. But his sentencing was postponed till 17 August because complications arose as Reni's lawyer advised him not to attend the court appearance on 3 August. Though he appeared at his second court appearance for the sentencing the judge ruled that his licence was to be suspended for 18 months and a fine of $2800.[citation needed]

Maitua had been named in the Australian Rugby League side for the Tri Nations series for the first time in his career after a knee injury ruled Brisbane forward Tonie Carroll out of the upcoming Tri-Nations tournament. His short international career came to a grinding halt after suffering a distal syndesmosis injury to his ankle in the closing stages of the 30–18 win over New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium.[citation needed]

2009: Move to Cronulla[edit]

On 15 June 2009, Maitua was suspended for 2 years for testing positive to a banned substance.[1] He signed with the Parramatta Eels on return from suspension for the 2011 NRL season.

2011-2013: Return to NRL and move to Parramatta[edit]

Reni Maitua signed with Parramatta in 2011 but was unable to play until his ban ended in May. Due to his good form, inspirational leadership and a new outlook on life, he was made co-captain of the Parramatta club alongside Jarryd Hayne and Tim Mannah in 2013. In June 2013, Maitua was one of 12 Parramatta players that were told that their futures at the club were uncertain by coach, Ricky Stuart. Hasler has confirmed Tooty will add depth to the Bulldogs in 2014. He will bring experience to the Bulldogs side.

In October 2013, Reni was a part of the Samoan team that participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. He made his debut in the Samoans' impressive display against the Kiwis. This match however would be his only match of the Tournament, as injury forced him to pull out from the remaining games in the Tournament.

In May 2014, Reni played for Samoa in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International.

Representative Games[edit]

Controversy[edit]

In 2006, Reni Maitua was convicted of drink driving after he blew 0.165 in a random breath test in Cronulla, while on P-plates. A reading of 0.165 is more than three times the legal limit for a fully licensed driver, but the limit for P-platers is zero.[2][3][4] In December 2008, Maitua's contract with the Bulldogs was terminated by the club after he failed to attend training.[5] He is also a known member of the Bra Boys.[6][7]

On 20 May 2009, Maitua tested positive to a banned drug and was handed a provisional suspension.[8] On 15 June 2009, it was announced that Maitua would be suspended for 2 years following the positive test of the second sample.

Depression[edit]

In late 2013 it was revealed that Maitua had been suffering from severe depression. In mid 2013, Maitua suffered a breakdown after a game in Brisbane, and days later attempted suicide. Maitua's best friend Willie Tonga was awake at 1:00am when he received a call from Maitua's sister, who had received a text message which scared her greatly. Tonga chose to drive to Maitua's unit, and found Maitua attempting to take his own life. Tonga believes that had he even arrived 10 seconds later, Maitua would not have survived.[9] Maitua and Tonga told their story on the NRL Footy Show in June 2014 as an attempt to help remove the stigma around mental illness in league.

References[edit]

External links[edit]