Benji's guidance helps Moses spoil his party
Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitch Moses played a match-winning hand to spoil the 250-game celebrations for one-time mentor Benji Marshall on Sunday and revealed afterwards that it was words from the 2005 Tigers premiership-winner that helped him do it.
There was an enthralling battle between veteran Dragons playmaker Marshall against his old club and in particular the two young halves who were coming through when he departed concord in Brooks and Moses.
Marshall produced a fine sideline tackle to not only run down a breakaway Brooks but bundle him into touch for good measure. Words were exchanged between Marshall and Moses late in the piece when the latter seemed to catch the 31-year-old with a swinging arm.
After the 25-12 win, Moses had nothing but praise for the 2005 premiership-winner and insisted any high contact was purely accidental.
"I was really happy for Benji, he's played 250 games, that's a massive milestone," Moses told NRL.com.
"I can't thank him enough for when I was coming through and he was playing in that 2013 season. I was coming through as a young kid, was pretty shy and he welcomed me in with both arms and he was massive for my footy."
Not only did Marshall welcome him, he showed him the sort of guidance that would later help Moses spoil the party in Marshall's 250th game milestone.
"There were a couple of plays out there that came off for me that I worked off his game," Moses said.
"I've taken those things out of his game and they're starting to work for me. I can't thank him enough, he was massive for me when I was coming through as a young bloke."
Pressed on what those were, he added: "It's more just backing my ability – things that I see and me just backing myself and doing it, that's more what it is.
"There were a few defenders that we did a bit of video on during the week and I was getting one on one with them, I thought it was a perfect time to take them on and it pulled off for us."
Asked about the verbals with Marshall, Moses was desperate not to be seen as deliberately targeting the senior man.
"Not at all (was there any animosity), I think he thought I had a swinging arm, maybe I did but I meant no harm in it at all, I never go out in a game to injure or hurt someone," Moses said.
"I've always looked up to him, he's one of my idols and like I said I congratulate him on his 250th but I meant no harm in it at all."
While the milestone didn't finish with the victory his club so badly needed, Marshall also drew strong praise from his coach Paul McGregor.
"[It's an] outstanding achievement by a man that's gone through some tough times," McGregor said.
"I think he only played a dozen games his first two years, he had five shoulder reconstructions. To pull 250 together, there's only 100 players in the game ever to have done that so it's a magnificent achievement. He's 31, he's still got some footy ahead of him. To make 250 and play against his old club, it's pretty rare."