With two NRL appearances under his belt, Dyldam Parramatta Eels second-rower Tepai Moeroa is the newest addition to the list of players to pull on the Blue and Gold jersey in first grade.
And Moeroa says his instructions so far from Head Coach Brad Arthur have been simple.
“Protect Chris Sandow like he’s my little brother,” Moeroa said.
“Just run good lines and protect the halfback.”
With another season of NYC eligibility ahead of him in 2015, 18-year-old Moeroa says he hasn’t had time to think about the added challenge of taking on hardened NRL forward packs.
“Honestly I don’t know what to feel, it was all a shock to me,” Moeroa said.
“It’s bigger bodies, a faster game, but the boys have helped me out. Fui (Fuifui Moimoi) especially is telling me to keep confident, and if I need any help just to ask him, and Sandow, he’s been helping me out heaps.”
Speaking post-game, Arthur told the media he couldn’t fault his forward pack’s performance against the Rabbitohs, despite the 32-12 scoreline.
“Like I said to them after the game, I couldn't walk into there and spray 'em because they tried their hardest,” Arthur said.
“They did, they put their bodies on the line and they were very physical.”
In just his second outing in first grade, and his first starting appearance, Moeroa made 31 tackles and ran in the Eels’ first try of the night.