Promising Panther gets in the groove

Promising young Panthers hooker Kierran Moseley credits support within the club for helping him achieve a first grade debut – and says irrespective of whether he spends the rest of the year in any of the three grades he's still eligible for, he's happy just to be playing footy.

The 20-year-old product of Cloncurry in north-west Queensland was called up for his first grade debut in Round 25 against Manly with first-choice hookers James Segeyaro (death of father) and Kevin Kingston (leg fracture) unavailable.

He acquitted himself admirably, providing good service from dummy-half, defending well and producing a Segeyaro-esque line break which put the Panthers in position from which they were able to score a try.

"It was a good experience; apart from the result it went well!" Moseley told NRL.com in the sheds after that heartbreaking last-gasp 26-25 loss.

"We felt like we were all over them the whole game and a few lapses with what we did let them back in the game. The calibre of players in their team got them over the line."

Still just 19 when the season kicked off, Moseley was eligible for the NYC this season but has spent much of it in NSW Cup – helping the side to finish as minor premiers.

"This is my second year down [in Penrith], I played under-20s last year and to get an opportunity the way I did – it's been really great for me. At the start of the year I started playing [NSW] Cup which developed me and helped me get where I am now," he said.

On his decision to leave the North Queensland area for Penrith, he said he was just playing up in Townsville and the Cowboys didn't want to sign him so his manager spoke to Penrith.

"They've welcomed me in with open arms, I really feel like a part of the club. The club have been great with training me in first grade, they've been developing me and helped me a lot. I just want to give back to them as much as I can," he said.

Both senior squad hookers have helped him with his game.

"Kingston and James have been really good for me, when I came up and trained with first grade they really welcomed me and gave me some tips."

He also said a pep talk from acting captain Jamie Soward during the week helped him prepare for his first grade debut.

"Sowie's been really good with me, he said just run with your first instinct and play your natural game and it felt like that's what I did."

It paid off with that line break, but Moseley downplayed his role in that eventual 27th-minute try to Jamal Idris.

"That's just footy, I had a look up and ran with my instinct!" he said.

Despite the frenetic pace at which much of the game was played, Moseley said it was the physicality more than the speed which was the biggest step up from NSW Cup.

"The pace was OK, it's just the physicality and stuff like that but the pace was pretty good."

A steamlined club structure which sees the NRL, NSW Cup and NYC squads play to a similar structure and game plan has also helped, he said.

"We all sort of do the same plays and everyone's on the same page. It doesn't matter whether you're playing NRL or reserve grade, everyone's on the same page. We've got a good bond at the club and we all just come together and everyone wants to defend for each other," he said.

It looks like a two-game suspension to Adam Docker out of that Manly game will see Moseley get a second NRL game this weekend despite the return of Segeyaro to the line-up, but Moseley said regardless of what the rest of 2014 holds he's excited for next year and just wants to keep playing footy for the Panthers.

"It [the taste of first grade] gives me something to look forward to next year and to work on in the off-season, to be a part of this team here – everyone wants to play first grade, you've just got to bide your time and take your opportunities when they come," he said.

"Whether I'm in first grade or NSW Cup or -20s – I just want to play footy!"