Master's apprentice Mbye jags victory
Moses Mbye owes Trent Hodkinson a lot for his career so far, but it didn't mean the Bulldogs halfback shied away from getting one over his ex-teammate.
Mbye's Bulldogs came out on top on Saturday afternoon with a 28-14 win over Hodkinson's Knights.
Knights co-captain Hodkinson may have had one of his best games in Newcastle colours but he was outdone by a 16-point haul from Mbye, who also put hooker Michael Lichaa over for the game's first try.
Hodkinson's exit from Canterbury allowed Mbye to take on the No.7 jersey at the Bulldogs this season and the 22-year-old couldn't have been more complimentary of the New South Wales Origin representative in the immediate aftermath of the Bulldogs' victory.
"Any win over your mate is quite pleasing. I speak highly of Trent, he's helped and shown me a lot of my trade in terms of how play and my game," Mbye told NRL.com.
"He's played a massive role and been very influential for myself in my playing career.
"It was nice to get the win, it was a bit like getting the win over the sensei."
The Bulldogs' 14-point win sees them temporarily re-enter the top four on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.
A Cowboys win over the Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon would change that, but Mbye said finishing inside the top four would be a massive boost to his team's premiership chances – even though the Bulldogs were able to play their way into the grand final from seventh place back in 2014.
"I think anyone would be lying if they said they weren't worried about the top four. I believe to win the comp you have to be in a top four position," Mbye said.
"If anyone can do it though, I think we can win it from outside the four if it comes to it.
"We were close two years ago and unfortunately didn't win it. But if we can get that opportunity again, we will be better for it."
Knights coach Nathan Brown was critical of Mbye's lengthy "two-day" goal-kicking process post-game.
But six goals from six attempts the Noosa Pirates junior had the last laugh.
"Look, Brownie can have swipe at me if I was missing them but unfortunately for him I was putting them over," Mbye laughed.
"It's a bit like a golf swing. It's about routine and process. I've been working hard at it. I have to give a massive mention to my kicking coach Daryl Halligan.
"He works overtime for me because he's pretty much on call for me. I'll give him a text at 10pm and he'll turn up at 7am the next morning.
"I have to give him a rap. He has really improved my goal kicking."