Moa to aim up against Kiwi teammates
Roosters prop Sam Moa is not doing anything different in the absence of injured fellow bookend Jared Waerea-Hargreaves but agrees he needs to aim up when he faces Storm prop Jesse Bromwich, who he labelled the best prop in the game.
Moa, who launched some massive hits in a 30-0 win over South Sydney last week, rattling the giant Burgess brothers George and Tom as well as back-rower Glenn Stewart, was feeling the after-effects of that game for days.
"It took me about three days to recover from tackling them both," Moa laughed.
"Jesse poses a different sort of threat. He’s very agile and very skilful and there’s a reason why he’s considered the top front-rower in the game.
"It doesn’t get any easier this week and semi-finals are a different ball game. We’re not taking into account anything we’ve done in the regular season."
He praised the playing style of Melbourne's Kiwi international.
"He’s definitely got a big motor for a prop forward. He can offload, pass, step, run over the top of you. He’s a unique combination," he said.
"He’s a tremendously talented player. A different sort of challenge this week with Jesse [compared to] trying to stop the Burgess brothers."
Asked how he'd handle the all-round threat of Bromwich, Moa laughed: "I’ll just do what I did last week and close my eyes and hope for the best!"
Moa is just playing his normal game in the absence of Waerea-Hargreaves but acknowledges the need to help fill the leadership void.
"It’s always in the back of my head that I need to encourage the younger boys because obviously I’m older than them, with more experience, but they’ve been performing in their own right tremendously well," Moa said.
"Suaia [Matagi], Siua [Taukeiaho] and Kane [Evans] are playing some of their best footy. The way they’ve been playing made my transition back into the team [from a dislocated wrist] easier."
Bromwich isn't the only Kiwi threat in the Storm forward pack – Moa has also played Tests alongside Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor.
"They are very similar players. They all have really good footwork and very, very good skills for big men," Moa said.
"On top of that Jesse has a big motor. He can score tries; he can set them up; there’s not much he can’t do.
"And Melbourne Storm have been playing some really good football of late. [They're] a really well-coached side, same as us.
"We know from previous experiences semi-finals football brings out the best in teams."
Like his teammate Aidan Guerra, Moa was hopeful the side had learned some lessons out of its costly finals losses to Penrith and the Rabbitohs last year.
"We didn’t play well the first final and lost to Penrith. We came out on fire for North Queensland for the first half and then they came back; then we lost to South Sydney the week after. But I think we’ve got some momentum now and hope we capitalise on that on Friday night and get the week off this time," Moa said.