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Living the dream: Mat and Max share 'extra special' day

It couldn't have worked out much better for Mat Feagai.

An NRL debut alongside twin brother Max and scoring a try directly in front of 50 family and friends at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The only negative for the 20-year-old Dragons winger in Sunday's 32-12 win over the Bulldogs was a high-ankle sprain that cut his game short by 10 minutes, but he could yet be available for Magic Round.

"Running out together in first grade – that's probably as special as it gets, especially as twins," Mat, on crutches, said post-game.

"You see a lot of brothers, but I think our connection - what we've been through, where we came from - made it extra special."

From a Samoan background but born in New Zealand, the Feagais moved to Leeton, a small town in the Riverina region of NSW, as youngsters and didn't properly play rugby league until age 11.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Bulldogs

Rugby union had been their preferred sport until that point, but the twins quickly made it their mission to reach the NRL.

Max was the first to crack the top grade in 2020 and recorded his fourth match on Sunday on the opposite flank to Mat.

"It's always a special feeling running out through the tunnel, [but] it was extra special knowing that I was running through that tunnel with my brother there," said Max, who presented Mat's jersey.

He returned the favour after Mat had done the honours before Max's debut against the Knights in round 19 last season.

"I said a few words," Max said. "I know how much it meant to him, how proud everyone is, our family - me especially.

"I know how hard he's worked for, so [I said] enjoy it."

Following in the footsteps of Brett and Josh Morris as twins to play for the Dragons, the Feagais came through the ranks together, including winning the 2019 SG Ball title with Illawarra.

"After I got my [NRL] debut, we just spoke about that as soon as Mathew makes his, I would love to be there on the field rather than watching from the sideline," Max said.

Mat added that it was "tough" to wait to play first grade after his brother but he felt better prepared following another pre-season.

He racked up 138 metres, two line-breaks, a try assist and eight tackle-breaks in an assured performance against Canterbury.

Crossing the stripe in the 51st minute was the highlight.

"It was unreal. I rubbed it in a bit to Max. He's scored four games now and hasn't scored one," Mat said.

"It was pretty cool. Ben Hunt just jumps out, does his thing, throws me a pretty nice ball and I score in the corner.

Every try from Round 9

"And then when all the boys jumped all over me, that felt pretty special. It was right in front of our family as well.

"They were all jumping and screaming too ... [The Dragons] gave us 50 tickets and we used them all."

COVID-19 protocols prevented the twins from hugging their family but they were able to talk over the fence and pose for photos.

As Cody Ramsey (ribs) and Mikaele Ravalawa (suspension) prepare to return on the wings for this week's clash against the Storm at Suncorp Stadium, Mat and Max are facing competition to hold their spots.

Hunt sends Mathew Feagai over

St George Illawarra, who sit in sixth place, will need to improve to challenge Melbourne after a poor start against Canterbury.

"As bad as we were in the first half, it was really scrappy, we came out in the second half and everyone was firing," Mat said.

"Hook [coach Anthony Griffin] really ripped into us about what to do and I think we did just that. I still think there were a lot of glimpses of good there and we can take a lot out of it against the Storm."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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