«Who else did they buy? They bought [Cooper] Cronk and [James] Tedesco the year before. They never seem to lose too many.»
Matterson would often be teased by his mates when he played for the Bondi boys, but said the premiers deserved credit rather than ridicule.
«They have quality and depth, a couple of players leave and then even better ones come in,» Matterson said. «The way they manage their salary cap is unbelievable. Good on them.
«They are a well-structured club, very professional. As a person looking on from the outside you probably think they’re cheating or they’re doing something.
«But having been a part of the club, you know they have crossed their ‘ts’ and dotted their ‘is’.»
The Roosters moved on Dylan Napa who landed himself in the headlines, while Blake Ferguson shifted to Parramatta on a three-year deal. Prior to that Mitchell Pearce, Shan Kenny-Dowall and Michael Gordon left, and Cronk and Tedesco arrived. In 2016 Luke Keary was brought in and Jackson Hastings, who is now in England, was let go.
Matterson said it was a lot easier leaving the Roosters knowing he had won a premiership with his mates.
And now there is a hunger to clinch another title at the Tigers whose roster surprisingly features no fewer than nine players — Benji Marshall, Robbie Farah, Chris McQueen, Matterson, Elijah Taylor, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye — who have won or featured in a grand final.
«Getting to a grand final is hard, winning one is even harder,» said Matterson, who will start as the right-edge back-rower and also trained at lock.
«When you win one you feel so proud of yourself and all the people involved like your family and friends and the club and the fans.
«When I first came to the Tigers, I looked at our squad and the depth and how many people have actually played in a grand final. A lot of us have been to the ‘big dance’.
«I’ve won a premiership, but I don’t want to stop there and want to keep going.
«It feels good because we had a good side, we did it and now I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life.»
Matterson and the Tigers will fly out for New Zealand on Sunday for a week-long training camp before their one and only trial against the New Zealand Warriors.
The sole hitout will double as a final audition for Reynolds and Marshall to lock down the No. 6 jersey, while new recruit Rob Jennings, who trained with South Sydney on Thursday before he linked with the Tigers, will also head across the ditch.
Matterson, a Parramatta junior who was raised in Greystanes and played with Wentworthville, is locked up until the end of 2021.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.