MAD MAX: Goodna centre Max Seumanutafa relishes the physical contest and has the scars to prove it.
MAD MAX: Goodna centre Max Seumanutafa relishes the physical contest and has the scars to prove it. David Nielsen

Lifelong mates to drive Goodna's quest for glory

RAMON Filipine and Max Seumanutafa have played together since they were six.

Wherever one goes, so does the other.

They don't plan it that way. It just happens.

They will be together on the field for Goodna in today's Ipswich A Grade grand final against Fassifern.

It has always been that way.

"Max moved over from New Zealand and we lived together in the same house at Carole Park and played there for a couple of years, then came over to Goodna,” Filipine says.

"I spent two years in Sydney in the Illawarra and Max was with me, then I went to St George/Illawarra and South Sydney before coming to the Jets.

"Max was pretty much with me the whole way . . . and then we went to the Jets.

"We could have kept playing Cup but we thought it was better to come back to Goodna with something to give rather than when we were all washed up.”

Seumanutafa says the bond between the duo is tighter than tight.

"We know how each other plays and we are always there for each other - on and off the field,” he says.

"We have grown up together, lived in the same houses, been to the same school and played footy together.

"We are cousins but we are basically brothers.

"Me and Ramon played Q Cup together at Ipswich, then I went to Norths and he went to Souths. But we decided to bring it all back to where it all started at Goodna, from under sevens until under 16s.”

Rugby League Ipswich A-grade clash between Norths and Goodna at Keith Sternberg Oval on Sunday. Ramon Filipine.
Rugby League Ipswich A-grade clash between Norths and Goodna at Keith Sternberg Oval on Sunday. Ramon Filipine. Rob Williams

Because of their bond, and the fact they are both senior players, the duo can tell each other how they really feel.

"People look at it and think 'what's going on here' but they don't realise we have grown up together,” Filipine says.

"Even though we fight, when it comes to game time we get on with it. Whatever has been said stops there, and we get on with the job.

"I think it is good for the boys to see that. Everyone then opens up to each other, rather than holding stuff in.

"They can be really open about how they feel.”

Seumanutafa is the man Filipine wants beside him any day of the week.

"Max has always been reliable. You can count on him any time,” Filipine said.

"Ever since we were little he has always been tough. He's had that tag. Everyone knows Max is tough.

"He is always the first one to split his head open in a game.

"He's had that many stitches. That even happened in the semi (against Fassifern). His dad came down to the sideline and said he couldn't come back, and that is the only reason he didn't come back on.”

The QT caught up with the duo before a training session and Filipine was in awe of Max's grit.

"He has still got stitches in his head and he is wearing headgear at training. He is adamant he's not missing out,” he said.

Seumanutafa just grins when asked about his take no prisoners approach and lack of care for self preservation.

"I have split my ear and ripped the whole thing. I had stitches in my head playing rep and split my whole head . . . and kept playing,” he says. "Finals' footy hardly comes around.

"When it does you've got to take it with both hands. There are guys that have never played finals.

"Playing finals footy is why we play.

"This is the part of the season that really counts.

"It is 'give it all or go down'. It is the big GF and we have been there before, but we are more hungry now. To get it twice in a row and win it will be even better.

"Some boys are retiring and giving footy up for other reasons. But to send them out with a win would really ice the cake.”



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