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Moses justifies the hype

Martin Gabor, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

Canberra, Australia - October 29 : Ruby League World Cup - Lebanon V France  GIO Stadium on October  29 2017 in Canberra Australia

 Photo: Keegan Carroll / NRLPhotos.com
Canberra, Australia - October 29 : Ruby League World Cup - Lebanon V France GIO Stadium on October 29 2017 in Canberra Australia Photo: Keegan Carroll / NRLPhotos.com

Mitchell Moses's meteoric rise in form continued on Sunday when he led Lebanon to a crucial 29-18 win over France that has them in the box seat to reach the knockout stage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Heavily touted as a youngster at the Wests Tigers, Moses justified the hype following a mid-season switch to the Parramatta Eels that saw him guide the blue and golds to the finals for the first time since 2009. 

Lebanon fans were hoping to see something similar from the talented playmaker and the 5,492 at Canberra Stadium weren't disappointed as Moses took the game by the scruff of the neck in the final 10 minutes to seal the Cedars' first World Cup win. 

The 23-year-old showed plenty of composure to slot a field goal to give his side a 19-18 lead with six minutes remaining before he scored a try via a stunning chip and chase to put the result beyond doubt.   

"I probably wasn't too happy with my first half, but Freddy (Cedars coach, Brad Fittler) gave us strict instructions that if we completed our sets then points would come," he said after the game.

"It was good composure at the end from the boys and we completed our sets. We probably made it had for ourselves; we should have put a few more points on in the first half, but that's footy."

The past few weeks have been an eye-opener for Moses, with the structures of the NRL replaced by a brand of footy driven by emotion. 

While he and Robbie Farah headline the first-graders in the side, the Lebanese squad is predominately made up of part-timers looking to do their families proud.

That spirit was on full show in the nation's capital with both sides leaving nothing on the field as they fought to secure two competition points that would all-but see them advance to the quarter-finals.  

"During the week I just saw how passionate the boys are. They've worked so hard to get us into this position. It was a massive game, and for the French boys, it was probably the same," he said after the fiery encounter. 

"It's a lot different to what I'm used to. Hanging around these boys, they work full-time jobs and train in the arvo so it's full credit to them. They're showing their heart out here so it's a credit to them."

This article originally appeared on NRL.com