When Singleton Bulls stalwart Matt ‘Staffy’ Staff runs onto the ground this Saturday afternoon he will be achieving a rare club landmark – his 400th game.
Matt is only the third player after Gary Buckton and Shane Thompson to reach such a significant milestone for the Bulls.
His 400th game will be in second grade against Singleton Army at the army camp ground with the kick-off at 12:20pm.
The club is hoping there are plenty of his team mates past and present at the base for the big event with their voices ready to cheer on Matt.
A former soccer player Matt began his rugby career after a momentous night out at the Royal Hotel. In 1996 he was asked to play Colts to make up the numbers and headed to the wing but as fortune would have it the team never eventuated and Matt joined third grade for the season under Rick Parker, Shane Reagan and Phil Jones as manager.
It was a pretty good begging for Matt as the the team would make the semi-finals.
Once he was hooked on rugby his great mates David Foster, Phil Hetherington and Todd Furness would join the club and would go on to play third and fourth grade together under the ‘great’ Greg Sonter.
In 2001 Matt played his 100th club game and from a start on the wing he had now moved to the front row. He was now playing second grade hooker.
Impressively during his first 100 games Matt never received a yellow card but on the actual game day he received two. First up he was binned for fighting.
It was in his debut for first grade that Matt received his second yellow card and then this playing style became a bit of a pattern over the next decade.
Much celebrating took place in 2007 when Matt notched up with 200th game for the club and also his first Premiership with a hard fought win to the Bulls third grade team 13-10 versus Pokolbin.
Five years later and Matt was playing his 300th game a feat he shared with his great mate Ashton Partridge when they played in second grade against Southern Beaches. The 2015 season saw Matt play his 350th game for the club and along with ‘Ashto’ Partridge was conferred life membership of the Singleton Rugby Club for this feat.
Matt thanked everyone involved with the club adding without volunteers and hard work from many people the Singleton Rugby Club wouldn’t be what it is today.