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Eels hooker Reed Mahoney paid tribute to team-mate Mitchell Moses after the playmaker overcame an emotional week to help deliver the club their first Grand Final appearance since 2009.

Moses had a mixed night on the field with his kicking game but will now play in his first NRL decider after the Eels held on in frantic fashion to beat the Cowboys 24-20 against the odds in Townsville.

Moses endured the pain of losing his grandmother a week ago and attending her funeral on Monday before leaving Sydney on Thursday with partner Bri due to give birth any day.

“It’s unreal, none of us actually knew until about 7pm when we had a team meeting [that Mitch became a dad],” Mahoney said post-match.

“We knew it was close by and he was telling his missus to hold on another day. I’m really happy for him and everything happens for a reason. He can now go and enjoy his little girl.”

Moses' sacrifice for chance at glory

Moses spoke of his week on Channel Nine’s broadcast just moments after the Eels had booked their grand final berth.

“It’s been a whole rollercoaster,” Moses told Channel Nine.

“I lost my grandmother last week and we laid her to rest on Monday and then I’m welcoming my first child over FaceTime four hours ago and now I’m playing in a Grand Final next week.

“I’ll have to get the boys on the plane as quick as possible so I can go and meet my little one.”

Arthur: Honest conversations driving premiership push

Both players spoke of the humidity in the clash with the Eels holding their nerve late to repel the Cowboys in front of over 25,000 at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

"That second half was sideline to sideline, up here in the heat, I’m so proud of the boys," Moses said.

“I felt like they [Cowboys] were feeling the heat more than us to be honest.

“In the first half they had all the ball, they completed at 90 per cent, but we missed out on two or three opportunities and when it got set-for-set it felt like we were on top of them.

“I thought our forwards were unbelievable, Reedy was unbelievable, his line speed the whole game, his effort, that was his 100th game and he led by example.

“Gutho just turned up everywhere, his trysaver was unbelievable, they were testing him out with bombs, they’re a team that are really good on last tackle.”

Gutherson stops a certain try

A delighted coach Brad Arthur also paid tribute to his No.7 post-match, revealing that the club had been willing to send Moses home on Friday for the birth had he made that request.

"The birth of his new daughter is so important to him and his family but the other part of his family is his mates, and at least we made sure that the sacrifice he made was worth it," said Arthur.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour 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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