Norman, Moses hope Eels' style troubles Storm

Parramatta's in-form halves – finals rookies Corey Norman and Mitch Moses – are hopeful their energetic forwards and unpredictable attacking style can help them break down the near-perfect Storm defence in their tantalising elimination final at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of their trip to Melbourne – described recently as "a free throw at the stumps" by coach Brad Arthur, with everything to gain and not much to lose – Norman was happy for the Eels to be written off by most.

"No-one's going to give us a chance but ourselves," Norman said.

"We're going to have to go down there and believe we can get the win or Melbourne will roll us."

It will help if the Eels can start as powerfully as they did in their recent 52-34 Telstra Premiership win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, he added.

"We've got to look at it as another game. It's a whole different level and intensity and we're going to have to rise," Norman said.

"No-one's going to give us a hope down in Melbourne, we just have to stay tight and believe and come Saturday, if we're ready to go anything can happen."

‌Skipper Tim Mannah, who before a ball had been kicked in anger in 2017 declared Parramatta would not swap Norman for any other player in the competition, doubled down this week after the former Broncos' impressive 2017 campaign.

"I think Normy's really grown a lot as a person and as a player [this year]," Mannah said.

"The last 12 months he's really matured and you can see that in the way he's playing. He's really developed into a leader and he's someone that fits into our club great and he's the kind of player you can build a club around."

Moses has slotted quickly into the Eels' system [http://www.nrl.com/finals-debutant-moses-can-hit-another-level/tabid/10874/newsid/111869/default.aspx]; his combination with Norman has developed at a rapid pace and is one of the key reasons the Eels surged into a fourth-place finish with nine wins from their last 10 games.

"When I first came they made me feel really welcomed and it didn't take long for us to get our combinations going," Moses said, paying particular tribute to his right-edge partners who have helped him slot in quickly in both attack and defence.

"I think 'Jenko' (right-edge centre Michael Jennings) has been outstanding, especially for me and my footy," Moses said.

"Having a player of his calibre who's played for Australia and played Origin, just having him next to me, for myself feeling very comfortable with Tepai [Moeroa] inside me and also Kenny [Edwards] when he comes on, those boys have been massive for me and we're going to look to keep that going this week."

 


Players and fans alike are also looking forward to what should be a thrilling battle between two of the form wingers of the competition in Fijian flyers Semi Radradra and Suliasi Vunivalu, who will oppose each other on Saturday afternoon.

The two scintillating flankers have claims on being the most in-form wingers in the competition right now; Vunivalu topped the season try-scorers' list with 23 and Radradra was right behind with 20. The Eel has a stunning seven tries in the past fortnight while Vunivalu has four.

"It's very good and he's hitting form at the right time, Semi," Norman said.

"And he's coming up against another Fijian and that's going to be a battle in itself so it shapes to be a good one."

Moses hoped there would be some personal spice in the battle on that edge.

"It's always good when you see two players like that going at each other and obviously they're both Fijian boys as well so they'll be taking it a bit personal," Moses said.

"Those two coming up against each other, seeing who can get one up on each other. It was exciting watching them last time down in Melbourne so hopefully they put on a show like that again.

"It's pretty exciting when you see those two players in wide open space and what they can do, they're probably the two best wingers in the comp at the moment and they'll be looking to go at each other this week."