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Mato inspired to make new NRLW season one full of redemption

Full of excitement as one of the Gold Coast's marquee recruits for the Titans' maiden season, Shannon Mato was hoping for big things in her new colours.

But two games in, an MCL tear in her left knee ruled the barnstorming prop out of the remainder of the campaign, forcing her to watch on from the sidelines.

Working hard to rehab and get back as soon as she can, the Queensland Maroons prop returned for Origin with a solid performance, and now hopes this upcoming NRLW season can be one that delivers the true fairytale comeback story.

"I'm more excited than I was before because this season for me is like redemption," she said.

"It was hard to watch on the sidelines but the girls were good in their first NRLW season and I was really happy with how we all started."

Joining the Titans from the Brisbane Broncos, her first season in the sky blue and gold was a rollercoaster, but it didn't ever change her main reasons for joining.

"My main focus when shifting to another club was to challenge myself individually," Mato said.

"I really wanted to grow and then I trained super hard in the pre-season and never felt so ready and fit.

"I came in and had my first hit out and I think for every club, they were so glad footy was back and then in the second round, unfortunately, I got injured and it was hard.

"But even though I was injured, I saw all the girls work super hard throughout the season, so I had to show up regardless and do my part on the field because I wanted to work hard to potentially return and be ready."

Although a majority of the core group is the same, the club does have eight new faces in the squad, including a number of key forwards that the Maori All Stars representative wants to try and make comfortable as much as possible. 

"When you come into a new environment, it can be scary and I think it can even be a little scary for us experienced players sometimes," Mato said.

"We're still learning and we're still adapting to new players, so for me, it's about asking how your day has been or asking what they like... just having friendly chats so everyone feels more and more comfortable."

The 2022 NRLW season is here and the Titans are aiming for grand final glory after coming so close in their inaugural season. Show your support with a NRLW membership - on sale now!

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.