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Raiders secure young gun Mataora

By Nathan Ryan
30 May 2012 03:36PM EST

CANBERRA has confirmed young prop Sam Mataora has agreed to stay on with the Raiders until the end of 2014.

The 21-year-old agreed to terms on Tuesday night with Raiders boss Don Furner telling ABC Canberra on Wednesday he only needs the documentation signed to complete the deal.

“I think you’ll find that Sam Mataora last night agreed to terms,” Furner said.

“I’ll just check with his manager and get the contract done but I think he’s right for two more years.”

The South Sunnybank junior made his NRL debut in 2011 while the club is also deep in talks with extending the deal of Jack Wighton.

“Jack pretty much getting to an extension with him,” Furner said.

“We’re a long way down extending him into 2014 but I just need to get some paperwork done there and back to his manager.

The 19-year-old winger from Orange is likely to be sidelined for the season after he injured his toe in a freak backyard accident while jumping on a trampoline.

This is not the first time the Raiders have had such luck with former winger Justin Carney injured in a similar incident when he fell off the back of a work truck on his family’s farm.

“It’s a huge step for these guys to fully understand what it means to be professional,” Furner said of the youngster.

“An innocuous fall off a trampoline is terrible luck.

"We’ve had players go home to their farm and help their parents out and get injured.

“It was a simple accident he landed the wrong way and it looks like the whole season, it’s terrible for him and us, we don’t need it at the moment.”

The club is also closing in on bolstering their roster for beyond this season with ongoing negotiations with Manly hooker Matt Ballin continuing to progress.

The Sea Eagles however are desperate to keep Ballin at the club next season while North Queensland have also placed a for the former Queensland State of Origin representative.

Meanwhile Furner and NRL boss David Gallop met with Wagga Wagga Council after the Greater Western Sydney AFL side were given a large grant to play trial matches in the town for the next three years.

Mayor Kerry Pascoe has handed GWS franchise $300,000 for three pre-season matches with Gallop and Country Rugby League general manager Terry Quinn seeking answers as to why the rival code has been given preference.

The Raiders have previously taken trial matches to the town with no government assistance and baffled as to why they have given the AFL such a lucrative deal.

“We have a trial game next year we’ve agreed to play in Goulbourn,” Furner told ABC Canberra.

“We leave the money in that town as a way of promoting the sport. That might raise 80-90,000 from the gate and food and beverage sales.

“It’s not a money making venture for us, we help promote the game and leave the money there and we’ll make that point to the mayor and council.”

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