‘Can’t believe’: NRL world all say same thing about Mitchell Moses comeback against Sharks

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Just when it looked like the 2024 season was over for the Eels, the return of Mitchell Moses breathed new life into Parramatta’s season.

Facing league leaders Cronulla Sharks, the Eels looked a completely different side to the team that had lost five games in a row and seven of their last eight, earning a much-needed 34-22 victory.

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The Eels will finish the round in 15th place but with a glimmer of hope, although they will likely have to win nine of their final 12 games to reach the final.

Parramatta also welcomed back captain Clint Gutherson, but it was the return of Moses that seemed to spark the Eels’ attack.

Moses has been sidelined since breaking his foot in the third round, but was obviously in top form and orchestrated the Eels’ fourth win of the season.

The Eels scored six of four tries and Moses had nine runs over 82m, a try assist and a line break assist.

He also kicked 18 times over 600 m, putting the Eels in good positions.

Although its statistics seem to be nothing special, Parramatta was a different team.

Channel 9’s commentators were overwhelmed by the performance.

“I think back to Mitchell Moses’ very first kick of the game – the way it bounced off the boot, the sound it made, how far it went,” said Paul Gallen. “I said, ‘He’s in tonight.'”

“I can’t believe the impact he had on this game.

“On the way here I radioed for him and I said that Parramatta are inferior in the middle and their forwards have been beaten week in week out.

“Teams have been running through them. Mitchell Moses isn’t there to tackle or take hits.

“Didn’t he inspire you? I can’t believe the influence he had.

“I said earlier this year that I don’t know if I would pay $1 million for Mitchell Moses, but for this club he is worth every penny.

“The confidence he gave everyone tonight was incredible. I honestly can’t believe the impact he had on the forwards in particular. The confidence and kicking was brilliant.”

In a post-match interview on Channel 9, Moses revealed that he only started playing football properly again on Monday of this week.

However, there was speculation that if he was able to return to the field, he would wear the NSW Blues number 7 jersey for the first State of Origin game.

When asked if there was a chance he could have come back a week earlier, Moses said he did everything he could.

“I tried two weeks ago, but it just didn’t work out,” Moses said. “I couldn’t go out there and let the guys down.”

“I tried to come back early enough, took every opportunity and did my best, but it didn’t work out.”

And fans were overwhelmed by the performance, demanding that Moses be included in the Blues squad as Nicho Hynes struggles with a calf injury.

The Mole of WWOS tweeted: “BRING MOSES INTO ORIGIN STYLE!!! Nicho will be training his hamster at practice tomorrow!!!”

Freelance sports reporter Luke Robinson suggested: “It’s not too late to bring Moses into Blues camp for Game 1! That’s the best option they have.”

Brad Tallon, statistician for ABC Sports, said: “There is a possibility that Nicho will be out tomorrow and Moses will come in…”

Sport West member and partnership manager Matt Bamford asked: “Is there an option to bring Mitch Moses in for the @NSWBlues should there be an injury before #Origin’s first game?”

Eels fan Jay Keegan wrote: “Amazing what a true general can do at position 7. A whole new team here tonight.”

Another fan posted: “Is it too late to throw Moses into the Blues?”

Another commented: “Moses for Origin 2. We hear that more and more.”

Moses’ fingerprints were all over Parramatta’s attack and Blues coach Michael Maguire will be warned if Hynes’ calf problems continue to cause woes.

“He’s our halfback for a reason,” said captain Clint Gutherson.

“He’s probably one of the best halfbacks in the league at the moment. If he’s missing, it’s a big loss. The confidence he brings to the team and everyone at the club when he plays is great.”

Moses was not alone. Gutherson (245 metres) also made a strong comeback from injury, while half partner Dylan Brown ran free and sealed the win with a superb solo try, punishing Cronulla’s first mistake after 68 minutes.

The defeat is costly for the Sharks, who lose their top spot in the NRL rankings and will slip to third place depending on whether the Panthers can beat the Dragons on Saturday.

With Martin Gabor, NCA Newswire

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