Mysterious Hasler names injured Ennis in GF team
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler named injured skipper Michael Ennis in his grand final team line-up on Tuesday afternoon, a classic clandestine move in NRL grand final week.
"It wouldn't be a Des week without him doing that, would it?" five-eighth Josh Reynolds said on Tuesday morning.
Ennis, of course, is more likely to win the lotto than take the field on Sunday evening. But that doesn't mean the master of mystery is going to let anyone – not even the players – know who will be snapping at the heels of his forwards in this, the biggest game on the NRL calendar.
"Look, the funny thing is, he changes it on us sometimes. It's not just you guys, don't worry. He changes it on us all the time," Reynolds said.
"He probably isn't going to do it on purpose this week. He might throw someone in there for the next couple of days, see how they go, see how they adapt to it. If it suits, he'll do it. But if not, he might change it.
"I'm not too sure. It's hard to say now, but I'm pretty sure Moses might get the nod. I'm excited for him, he's a great kid."
Moses, the 21-year-old eight-gamer who would be the first player of African descent to play in an NRL decider, is considered to be the favourite to start in the hooking role before switching with Reynolds later on in the game.
"I think he can [adapt], yeah. He's a great defender. He's a little rock," he said. "It wouldn't surprise me if Des does put him there. I'd have total faith in him because he's a great defender as I said. And he's really quick off the mark, so he can get us on the front foot as well."
It was Reynolds who shifted there when Ennis failed to come out of the sheds in last weekend's preliminary final over Penrith.
"I don't think I'll start there, but I'll definitely jump in there at some stage," he said.
"Last week, at halftime when Des said to go in there for a little bit, I felt fine. It's not very different to me. I played a bit coming through.
"When I jump into hooker, I just try my best to get the boys on the front foot, try not to throw forward passes because I did them on the weekend. I'm ready for it if I have to step up for the team. I'm fine with that."
His move into the midfield could be a silver lining for the erratic Origin winner, who ironically credited his recent run of form to dumped Blues half Mitchell Pearce.
"I did notice Mitch Pearce was in such great form [and] it's not that he's changed much in his game. I think he's just getting his hands on the ball a lot," he said.
"I tried to input that into my game and just get as many touches as I can. As I said, if I am in hooker, it does get me a few extra touches. So yeah, I'll just try and have my little runs here and there but not try and overplay."