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Moses, Matterson ink new deals to stay at Eels

Eels coach Brad Arthur backed Mitchell Moses to play his part and help break the club's 35-year premiership drought following the star halfback's well-deserved contract extension. 

The Eels announced Moses had re-signed with the club until at least the end of the 2024 season on Friday morning following weeks of speculation the 26-year-old was being chased by rival clubs.

Eels second-rower Ryan Matterson has also activated a 12-month contract extension to keep him in blue and gold for the 2022 NRL season.

"It's great news for the club and the two boys as well individually," Arthur said on Friday.

"It's comfort [knowing they're staying] but we don't want to get comfortable. We've got better and we need to continue to get better.

Rabbitohs v Eels - Round 12

"Every club has the same ultimate goal."

Moses joined the club in the middle of 2017 after a bitter exit at the Wests Tigers and has played a big part in the transformation of the team in recent years.

The Eels playmaker had an outstanding 2019 season, earning him the prestigious Ken Thornett Medal as the club’s player of the year, while also being awarded the Dally M halfback of the year.

However, back-to-back finals exits in recent years have placed further pressure on Moses, Arthur and the club to take the next step and reach the grand final.

Arthur: Mitch is halfback we need to take us forward

"I don't need to heap any more pressure on him but he's the halfback we need to take us forward," Arthur said.

"It's a tough position he plays, all the pressure falls on his shoulders win or lose, it just goes with that position.

"Just seeing Mitch mature in his performances, he's becoming more reliable on a week-to-week basis.

"He's maturing every year, every session, every game. He's got better at what he says [but] he holds himself accountable as well."

Arthur added Matterson's decision to activate another season at the club was also vital.

Matterson made a return to the field a month ago after a head knock kept him sidelined for six weeks. 

"Matto's professional and really good for our young blokes," Arthur said.

"If he's got a strong opinion on how you should lead your life or carry yourself. He's not afraid to have those conversations but he does it his way." 

The news is a massive boost for the club in the lead-up to Saturday's stoush with Souths at Stadium Australia.

Attacking kicks in focus

After a below-par performance against the Sea Eagles last week, Arthur's men are desperate to turn things around before the Ampol State of Origin period begins.

Equally, the Rabbitohs are reeling following their 56-12 loss to the Panthers last start.

"I don't think you can read too much into what happened last week in many of the games," Arthur said of the opposition.

The Indigenous game-breakers set to take centre stage

"Souths are a good footy team who attack really well so we're going to have to defend really well.

"I can handle us losing games of football but not in the manner we did last week.

"We know where we sit in the competition, the reality is we need to have 17 players contribute every week."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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