Mitchell Moses relishing role as Eels eye finals campaign
MITCHELL Moses "has taken the team by its throat" as Parramatta and the in-form halfback aim to learn from previous failings in the NRL finals.
The No.7 had a hand in five tries, three from kicks, as the Eels beat Gold Coast 36-12 on Friday night to lock up a finals berth with three games to play.
The Eels have won seven of their past eight games and it's Moses leading the way, with a competition-best 29 try assists to his name.
"He's been huge," teammate Brad Takairangi said.
"In the preseason he was on the field for hours just practising his kicking ... he's just a real leader now, he's grabbed the team by its throat."
The pair were part of the Eels' finals campaign in 2017, when Parramatta entered as the fourth-placed side only to be bundled out in back-to-back losses in pursuit of their first title since 1986.
"Yeah, we don't want that happening," Moses deadpanned.
"I feel like we've got a different team and hopefully those that experienced it last time will learn from it.
"We were playing really good footy (in 2017), but we've just got to worry about ourselves. When we start to listen to everyone else it affects our game."
The team is indeed different in 2019, with Moses pointing out his combination with five-eighth Dylan Walker (19) and hooker Reed Mahoney (21) would be among the youngest spines in the NRL.
"I said, 'Listen, I'll guide you around and finish (sets) where we want to finish,'" Moses said of his role since the departure of Corey Norman.
"Having Normy there. .. he was more the dominant kicker, so I really had to step in there and work on my kicking game all off season."
Moses credits trusting coach Brad Arthur as his biggest influence and the coach is sure his playmaker will manage the moment when finals arrive.
"Just composed and all about the team," Arthur said.
"He probably ran more tonight, but the opportunities presented and that composure just filters through the group."