The Parramatta Eels are preparing to take on the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium this Friday night (11 August) in Round 22 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Speaking to the media ahead of the clash, Blue & Gold halfback Mitch Moses is hoping the side can lift in front of a big crowd during co-captain Tim Mannah’s 200th clash.
“It is that weird time on a Friday, that 6pm start so we will need all the support we need to get them out to ANZ Stadium. It is a big game, we have Newcastle who have been playing pretty good footy the last few weeks,” Mannah said.
“It is also Timmy’s 200th so we will have to put in a big performance for him. He is a legend of the Club.” Moses added.
“He has done a lot, been through it all and been here since the start of his career and been through all the ups and downs, so it will be big for him.”
Moses is not underestimating the last placed Newcastle Knights side, who enter this clash following victories over the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the New Zealand Warriors in the past fortnight.
“We just have to keep taking it game by game. We have Newcastle this week, and they have been playing pretty good footy.” Moses said.
“They will come out firing and looking to get off the bottom of the table as well, so we will just have to take it week by week and let everything else sort themselves out.”
The Eels have won their past six games and sit in equal third place on the ladder heading into the clash, and Moses said the side is not focusing too far down the track but rather on each week’s challenge.
“I think we approach it how we have been taking the last couple of weeks, taking it week by week and worrying about ourselves.” Moses said.
“If we just keep winning games, everything else will sort itself out.”
“We are looking to have a big finish this last month.”
Moses has been in strong form the last few weeks, playing a crucial role in the Eels past victories, and the halfback said he has felt comfortable, pinpointing his field goal in the victory over the Bulldogs as crucial.
“I was trying to find my feet the first couple weeks and the boys made me feel very welcome. I was trying to find my feet, but the last four weeks, I definitely feel a lot more comfortable in my position,” Moses said.
“I think we started to get our combinations working pretty well and everything was starting to click and our defence has improved a fair bit the last couple of weeks. “
“We have spoken about that if our defence is on, our attack will flow, and it has been happening like that the last couple of weeks.”
“As a halfback you always want to ice those moments [the field goal against the Bulldogs in Round 17] and I have been working on that a fair bit, to really finish off games like that. I guess it gave me a bit of confidence going into the last few games I played.” Moses added.
Making the mid-season switch to a new Club was ‘difficult’, but Moses credit’s Head Coach Brad Arthur’s role in simplifying his task at hand.
“I feel like I am going in with a clear head each week and just trying to do my job. BA has been big there, and really simplified my footy and given me a strict instruction to do on the field.”
“I have been following that and my footy has been coming off the back of that.”
“It was pretty difficult, especially as a half back. You come in and you have to learn all different plays and different structures, and you are expected to run the team around, boys that you have met the last three days.” Moses added.
“I found it pretty daunting, the first couple of weeks, but the boys made my job very easy and BA simplified my game and made my job a lot easier, so I am definitely feeling comfortable now.”