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Moylan's rapid rise 'no surprise'

The rise of Penrith fullback and City debutant Matt Moylan, seen here after his matchwinning sideline conversion, should come as no surprise. Credit: Robb Cox. Copyright: NRL Photos.
City fullback Matt Moylan might have been caught off guard when he got the call-up for his senior representative debut, but he's about the only one.

"I didn't know what to think," Moylan said when asked his initial thoughts on pulling on the yellow and blue City jumper after just 21 NRL games.

"I was pretty surprised and excited about it.

"I'm just happy to be here and I was happy just to be playing first grade to be honest, so this was pretty unexpected."
 
The news certainly came as no surprise to Panthers teammate Tim Grant, who joined the 22-year-old St Pat's Blacktown junior as Brad Fittler's City side went into camp on Monday.

Grant said the youngster was wise beyond his years, despite the baby-faced looks that had rugby league royalty Andrew Johns joking that Moylan could be the sixth member of One Direction when he made his top-flight debut almost exactly one year ago.

"I don’t look at Matty Moylan as a young kid," said Grant, who lines up for his fourth City-Country clash on Sunday.  "He does the job at Penrith for us every week.
 
"He’s mature and to be honest for me he hasn’t risen that quickly because I’ve seen him do his time in the -20s and reserve grade.

"So when he finally cracked first grade, he was an asset for us from day one.

 "The way he moves out the back of plays and his passing; he’s just an all-rounder.
 
"His talking and that organisational sort of stuff is really maturing and he can read the game.

"He’s a real asset to us at Penrith and he's definitely ready for this, he'll be good."

Fittler, the man responsible for bringing the 2013 Panthers rookie of the year into the line-up, is a fellow Penrith junior, and the City mentor said he was equally unsurprised by Moylan's rise into the representative ranks.

"From his first game, he made a really big impact straight away, so everyone knew he could play," said Fittler.

"I was really impressed with his game [against the Sharks].

"Whether it was taking bombs or laying on tries or going for darts himself he showed basically everything you want in a fullback and he seems to be getting more and more confident."

Fittler was also quick to point out Moylan's unflappable temperament, on show for all to see in Penrith's two-point win over the Bulldogs in Round 3, when the Panthers' third-choice kicker stepped up and nailed a match-winning conversion from the sideline.

"He seems to have a real level head on him, and the goal kicking showed that," said Fittler.

 "But he just seems to be so calm, and that’s what you need in a fullback.

"They’re under a lot of pressure and a lot of the things they do are crucial plays so there’s a certain personality that really suits the fullback these days, and Matt's got it in spades."
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