The Eels broke the Panthers’ 21-game winning streak at home, courtesy of a strong Mitch Moses performance, with NRL legend Corey Parker declaring the star is in “career-best form”.
While Moses didn’t record a single run, and only one try assist, his influence on the side came from his kicking game and organisation, something that cannot be quantified.
The 27-year-old was able to unlock the players around him and continually put his side on the front foot with pinpoint kicks which trouble the Panthers back three of Edwards, To’o and May.
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“I think he is in career-best form Mitch Moses, and to be fair although he didn’t have a run, he didn’t have to,” Parker said on Fox League.
“He has got Dylan Brown outside of him, he has got Gutherson, he has got wonderful edge forwards he has got terrific middle forwards.
“I thought Reed Mahoney’s service was terrific but his (Moses’) service and his kicking game certainly laid a platform for what they need to do.
“He is the type of half that doesn’t just run to get a run up on the stats, if there is an opportunity to run he will run, but I thought his balance in his game tonight was outstanding.”
“What you want from your seven, especially in the big games, is to execute your game plan,” Fox League’s Benji Marshall said.
“And deliver that, and what he does is he puts the team in positions to play their best footy and tonight along with his kicking game, and also what he was doing with Dylan Brown, putting him a bit wider, putting Gutho onto the ball, that’s what it is about for Mitch.”
Moses in the past has had a reputation of getting incredibly frustrated on the field, making rash decisions in crucial moments.
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This season, the former Tigers half looks calm, remaining level-headed in a manner which has allowed him to marshall his troops around the park effectively.
“The most impressive thing for me for Mitch is his temperament, he had this tendency in the past couple of seasons to get really frustrated and fade out of the game,” Marshall explained.
“He would let that frustration take over, where he might take it out on his teammates, he seems to have found peace with his anger.
“Good on him, he is very influential for this side and when he is playing they go well, he is a big part, if they want to turn around this premiership drought, he is a big part of it.”
“There is an air of confidence around him this year, I know he is a confident young man but there is an air of confidence about him that he knows his game, he is comfortable where he is,” Fox League’s Greg Alexander.
“He has copped a bit of criticism in the past, about trying to get the balance between what is right in his game.
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“Whether it is in his running game or organising his team but I think he is pretty comfortable with what he is doing at the Eels.”
Parker believes Moses’ new-found calmness has come from periods of off-season reflection, culminating in a huge upset victory over the Eels cross-town rivals.
“A sense of maturity for the halfback, which comes with time and more experience,” Fox League’s Hannah Hollis said.
“Well it does, but it also comes with having some reflection, I though the word coming out is that he reflected on years gone by, in particular last year and how he could get better and part of that was opening his arms more and embracing his teammates,” Parker said.
“And that has an influence… so if his temperament is nice and calm then the skills and the spark of all these players can come out.”
“One thing we have got to appreciate is how hard genuine number sevens are to come by in the competition and ones that control footy games and have direct outcomes on the results,” Marshall said.
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