Moylan receives All Star endorsement
He departed Cbus Super Stadium with Johnathan Thurston's Indigenous All Stars jersey but perhaps more importantly Matt Moylan left his debut All Stars appearance with the ringing endorsement of legendary All Stars coach Wayne Bennett.
As he did when he made his NRL debut for the Panthers in 2013, Moylan appeared to handle the step up in class with consummate ease, further pushing his claims for the New South Wales fullback spot vacated by Jarryd Hayne.
While Indigenous All Stars and NSW coach Laurie Daley declined to be drawn into Moylan's Origin prospects more than three months out from Game One of the 2015 Series, Bennett was effusive in his praise for not only his fullback's display on Friday night but for the way he conducted himself amongst exalted company during the course of the week.
Moylan's languid style has drawn comparisons with Queensland legend Darren Lockyer and certainly left Bennett in no doubt that he is a player with a decorated representative career ahead of him.
"I've been very impressed with him; he's really good," Bennett said before jetting off to England to join the Broncos for the expanded World Club Series next weekend.
"It was his first game [of the season] tonight and he had a few little errors around him but I just thought he was tremendous at training.
"He's got the smarts, he knows what's going on out there, he's got the speed and he's courageous and I was pleased to have him here. I knew he could play but I didn't know what kind of level he was at but I was pretty impressed with him.
"You don't know [how good they are] until you start working with them but he knows what's going on out there. He's got the smarts plus the ability. He's very cool, he's very casual, he's not someone that gets excited; I like his calmness."
At 23 years of age and with a City Origin jersey already to his credit, Moylan is just now beginning to appreciate that it takes more than pure talent to reach the greatest heights that the game has to offer.
He concedes that his diet is still an aspect of his preparation that needs improvement but that a week spent in All Stars camp has opened his eyes as to what is required to reach his full potential.
"[My diet] is something that I've been working on and something I need to keep working on, just doing my best to prepare the best I can for a game," said Moylan, who named chocolate, takeaway food and hot chips as his guilty pleasures.
"Talent can only get you so far so I've just got to keep working on all the little things and try to perfect everything.
"Just the professionalism and preparation that all the boys have coming into the game. Some of the boys here have played at the highest level for a long time so to get the opportunity to play with them was something special."
With a hand in the NRL All Stars' lone try to Dylan Walker and an unblemished night under the high ball, Moylan proved once again that the big occasion doesn't faze him.
And if the Blacktown junior does line up for the Blues in Game One in Sydney on May 27, some of the credit will lay with Bennett who left a lasting impression in their limited time together on the Gold Coast.
"Maybe the first day," Moylan said when asked whether he was intimidated by Bennett. "His presence... he's got a bit of an aura about him but once you get to know him he has a joke around and makes everyone feel comfortable.
"He did a bit of work just on positional sort of stuff on defence and that and I think it probably helped out there tonight.
"I just want to perfect every little thing and do the one per-centers and that will help me to become a better player."