King lands hat-trick for wolves
MATT KING has achieved more than most in his rugby league career - an NRL premiership with the Melbourne Storm, repres-entatives honours for NSW Country, NSW and Australia, and the Brad Fittler Medal for best NSW player in the 2005 State of Origin series.
Former Great Britain representative Brian Carney once rated the lanky Casino product as the best winger in the world.
Now the 28-year-old can add another achievement to his resume.
King and his Warrington Wolves English Super League team will play in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium later this month.
The Wolves defeated Wigan 39-26 last weekend with King scoring three tries.
Warrington will face the Huddersfield Giants in the final after they knocked out St Helens 24-14.
King's hat-trick, which helped Warrington to a 32-8 lead before Wigan stormed back to within six points for a dramatic finish, helped relieve some pressure on the former Test winger after a poor start to the season.
Earlier this year, King was forced to say sorry for a rude hand gesture after Warrington lost 60-8 to Harlequins.
“I'm so happy for the fans that things have turned around for us,” King told the British media.
“They were very upset with the way we started the season.
“But we've come out the other side.”
In scoring his treble, the former Marist Brothers premiership centre also became only the fourth Warrington player to score three tries in a Challenge Cup semi-final.
His coach, coincidentally another former Casino product, Tony Smith, praised King.
“He's had his critics but he's been fantastic in that role for weeks,” Smith said.
King's hat-trick was the first in a Challenge Cup semi-final since former Australian Test winger Brett Dallas in 2004.
Remarkably, another former Group One league player, Amos Roberts, played for Wigan in the Challenge Cup semi-final.
The final at Wembley will be played on Saturday, August 29.