Moses targets fast NRL start to season for Eels

Joel Gould |

Star No.7 Mitchell Moses is looking forward to a fast start to the NRL campaign for Parramatta.
Star No.7 Mitchell Moses is looking forward to a fast start to the NRL campaign for Parramatta.

A fast start to the NRL season will be crucial as Parramatta aim to return to finals football, Eels half Mitchell Moses says.

Moses shone in a 26-16 trial win over Gold Coast on Sunday, setting up a try with a slick grubber kick and linking well with fullback Clint Gutherson and No.6 Dylan Brown.

The Eels found themselves 14th after eight rounds of last year’s campaign and were unable to recover.

They had managed to get inside the top eight by round 16 but the intensity of the effort took its toll and they faded to finish 10th.

It was a major disappointment after the Eels reached the grand final in 2022.

“We definitely want to start the season well and not chase our tail like last year,” Moses said.

“If we can start well, we’ll put ourselves in a good position to play at the back-end of the year, but we need to take it week by week and see how we go.”

While Sunday’s runout was only a trial, Moses said his connection with Gutherson and Brown had not come about by chance.

“It’s the first time that we’ve had a full pre-season under our belt from November together for probably five or six years,” Moses said.

“We’ve linked up pretty well at training and it’s a good headache for (coach) Brad Arthur to have going into round one – we’ve almost got everyone fit and ready to go.”

No team wants to start pre-season training in early November because it means they have missed the finals, but on this occasion for the Eels that particular cloud could have a silver lining.

“We came back that early and the pre-season was that long, that I got to do everything possible at training,” Moses said.

“We weren’t happy with how we played last year and so we got away a bit and then we’ve been back for 16 weeks or so. It’s been good to have that.

“If we’re not fit and ready to go now, we’re in some strife.”

The lengthy pre-season has also enabled the Eels to take the players away on camps rather than train each week at their Kellyville Park base.

“We had a few camps and a lot of the boys got a lot out of it. It’s good to get away and change up the scenery,” Moses said.

“You can have that repetitive mindset where you’re going into training and get a bit over it, so it was good that we broke it up with a few camps.”