Moses at ease leading Eels around
New Eels halfback Mitch Moses is enjoying his new surrounds at Parramatta and already feels very comfortable at his new club despite just two games and a handful of training sessions since switching from Wests Tigers two weeks ago.
Moses politely opted – several times – not to discuss his former club or his drawn out and highly-publicised exit from Concord.
However on his progression at the Eels under Brad Arthur and reunited with former Eels Harold Matthews teammate Kaysa Pritchard, the Ryde junior was far more effusive.
"There's still a bit of progression to go but I feel a lot more comfortable this week," Moses said off the back of a starring role in a 22-16 win over Souths last round.
"Having a few more training sessions under my belt, I definitely feel more comfortable."
While Moses is looking forward to the chance to combine with Parramatta's incumbent star half Corey Norman, who picked up a knee injury the week before Moses arrived, for now he is enjoying the chance to run the team while playing alongside running five-eighth Clint Gutherson.
"It hasn't been the best thing that Normy has got injured, but the way it's happened to let me come in and take control has been alright," Moses said.
"When he comes back it will make my job a lot easier and hopefully we can strike up a good combination."
Moses is under no illusions about the task ahead and knows his best footy won't come overnight in a new system but praised his new teammates for helping make the transition easier.
"I definitely feel the boys are making me feel a lot more comfortable at the moment, making my job easier on the field," he said.
"I'm just narrowing my game down to what I can do best and everything else will sort itself out.
"I feel really clear at the moment, really focused on what Parramatta are doing and what they're about as a club.
"The massive focus is to play semi-final footy this year and that's our goal."
Asked to elaborate on what it is about the football side of things that will need to develop, Moses said while there is plenty for him to learn at his new club, as much as anything it is his teammates getting to know how he likes to play.
"For a half, it's knowing the sets and knowing the plays on the run. In the pressure times of the games, knowing when to call and what plays to call. That's the biggest thing, that's the challenge for a half coming in mid-season," he said.
"Just learning the plays and feeling a lot more comfortable in the structures we've got going here. The boys have made my job a lot easier by going forward, our forwards were massive on the weekend and made my job easier."
The signs were very good in the first half against Souths before a hip injury hampered him in the second, however he said the knock hadn't impacted his training since and he would suffer no ill-effects in the Warriors game.
Moses also laughed off concerns about Parramatta's 'halfback curse' which has seen seemingly endless talented No.7s come to the club and ultimately fail to produce their best despite early promise – think Tim Smith, Michael Witt, Chris Sandow and plenty more who have struggled to own the jersey made famous by four-time premiership-winning Eels great Peter Sterling.
"Everyone says it's a bit cursed," Moses laughed.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge, I really like playing halfback, I think that's my position, I feel lot more comfortable there.
"Peter Sterling was one of the best to ever play rugby league. It's definitely a privilege and an honour [to play in the Eels No.7 jersey].
Moses was looking forward to continuing to build his combination with former Eels teammate Kaysa Pritchard.
"I played with Kaysa at Harold Matts (the NSWRL under-16s competition); that year we went through undefeated and lost the Grand Final," Moses said.
"We're getting a good combination going at the moment. It's only two weeks in so we can only get better from here. We've got a fair few players out at the moment so when we're at full strength I think we'll be pretty hard to beat," he added.
Pritchard couldn't hide his enthusiasm at reuniting with Moses, describing the opportunity as "awesome".
"I couldn't wait to play with him, now that he's playing, Jesus Chris it's good to have him beside me again," Pritchard said.
"It's good to have a half that can kick the ball and control the team… I can't wait for Normy to come back either and see the two work together.
"It's been two weeks now that he's been with us, I can't wait to see what he'll be doing in a month, two months or whatever, he's just one of those players that will take our team to another level."