Finals debutant Moses can hit another level
On the eve of his first ever NRL finals appearance, star Eels half Mitch Moses is adamant he has plenty of improvement left in his game.
The Holy Cross Rhinos junior, who came up through the Parramatta system before making his NRL debut at Wests Tigers, has been a revelation since making the mid-year switch back to his former club.
The blue and golds have won 11 of the 14 games Moses has played with the No.7 piling on try assists and quickly developing a potent combination with halves partner Corey Norman to help pilot the club to a remarkable top four berth.
Speaking ahead of his team's trip down to Melbourne for a qualifying final against the seemingly unstoppable Storm, a relaxed Moses reflected on how quickly he felt comfortable in his new surrounds once the drama of a mid-year club switch was behind him.
"At the start of the season I would have thought I'd finish off the year at the Tigers but things happened," Moses said.
"I found my feet pretty quick here at Parramatta and everyone's made it pretty easy for me."
Those 14 games have yielded Moses nine try assists and 13 line-break assists while his general playing kicking and defence have improved markedly under Eels coach Brad Arthur.
"I'm enjoying myself a lot at the club and they threw me that lifeline midway through the year and I grabbed it with both hands," Moses said.
"It was always going to be a bit tough [switching mid-year], especially for a halfback learning all the news plays and stuff like that.
"It's still getting better each week I feel, I still feel like I can learn a lot more with the players around me and things like that and I feel like my game can still go to the next level."
Common sense would suggest Moses can only get better once he actually gets to have a pre-season in his new environs and while he was certain he had plenty of improvement in his game, stopped short of declaring that improvement would come as early as this finals series.
What he was confident in was the benefits he is now reaping from playing alongside Eels No.6 Corey Norman.
The pair play a free-flowing style, swinging both sides of the field and it is not unusual to see one pass to the other right out on the flanks – something that would be almost unheard of at some more structured clubs where the two halves each run one side of the field.
"I think having Corey there as well takes a lot of pressure off me so I feel like I don't have to touch the ball as much and same goes for him, he feels like he doesn't have to touch the ball as much either so when we touch the ball we've got threats on both sides of the field. He's a class player," Moses said.
"[Playing both sides of the field] definitely suits my style 100 per cent, I don't like to be locked on just one side of the field."
Arthur has given both playmakers licence to roam, Moses added.
"Me and Corey feel like we've got that combination going at the moment where if he ever calls something or sees something we're always around each other and I think it's working all right at the moment."
That less structured approach has made the Eels' attack somewhat unpredictable and Moses hoped that could be an advantage against the Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday.
"I feel like if you're just plugged on one side of the field teams can really watch a lot of video on you and really pick you apart but we like to float around the field so it's pretty good in that way," he said.