The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on an Origin-affected Melbourne Storm side in Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, and Blue & Gold halfback Mitch Moses has stressed the importance of coming away with the two points this week.
The side head into the clash off a golden point victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last week, knowing they still have plenty of areas to work on.
“It was a tough one. Take nothing away from the Bulldogs, they played pretty good in that second half, their defence was outstanding and we were finding it hard to come off our line.” Moses said.
“We just tried to stick to our structures, but we made too many errors coming out of that second half. That first set of six in defence, they went 80 metres and that kind of set the tone for our half.”
“But it was pretty special to get away with that win in a tight game, and we need them leading into the Semis if we are to make it.”
Moses stepped up with the match winning field goal to secure the two points for the Eels.
“I guess it was a bit of a special moment. I have been working on that a fair bit at training so to pull one off in a game is pretty special,” Moses said.
“The boys have made my job easy coming in, they have made me feel welcome and I have really slotted in pretty well. I guess I took control in the end and I wanted to kick that field goal.”
Moses defence was tested by a big Bulldogs pack, however the halfback was solid with his 20 tackles.
He paid credit to his fellow teammates but also how he was now comfortable in the side.
“Having a class player like ‘Jenko’ outside me, and Kenny inside me, it definitely helps a lot defensively. ‘Jenko’ has been around a long time so he is always talking and telling me where I need to be,” Moses said.
“But it was more so me just getting used to the defensive structures that are here. They are a lot different to what are at the Tigers but I am really comfortable now and it is all gelling.”
The Blue & Gold’s focus now turns to the Melbourne Storm, who will be without several Origin representatives, however Moses knows they will still pose plenty of dangers at AAMI Park.
Moses said the Eels would not be taking their opposition lightly.
“They will be missing a few players, but even when they have been missing them during the Origin period they have played pretty well. We will be looking to play our best game and come away with the two points leading into the bye. It’s a four point game for us so its pretty important,” Moses said.
“Any time those players are out of their team, you have to take advantage of it. They are a class side, but in the Origin period they have showed enough class to get away with wins without their players.” He added.
“We won’t be taking it as an easy game at all. It will be a tough game especially going down to Melbourne. It’s always a tough trip down there.”
“We will take it how we do every week. The trip down there is a very tough one, so we will be looking to get the two points and get out of there.”
With the bye next week, Moses knows this week’s clash will be vital for the Eels, as they look to push towards the Semi Finals.
“This game will really put us in good stead to try and have a push towards the Semis. If we win this game going into the bye, we have the Tigers the week after, and a few other teams that are below us, so if we can get a few wins there and cement our spot in the eight, it will really help,” Moses said.
“This game is massive. I think we are two points away from second so the competition is pretty tight but we need this win heading into the bye.”
“A four point game for us so it’s very important.”
The Eels kick off against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday 8 July in Round 18 of the NRL Telstra Premiership. Kick off from AAMI Park is at 7:30pm.