Maestro Moses orchestrates Blues’ dominant Origin show

Melissa Woods |

Four games into his State of Origin career and four games back from injury, Mitchell Moses made the NSW No.7 jersey his own in a masterful performance at the MCG.

Moses rewarded the bold selection choice of Blues coach Michael Maguire on Wednesday night, despite missing two months of the season with a foot injury.

With first-choice NSW halfback Nathan Cleary unavailable for the series due to a hamstring injury, the 29-year-old Moses replaced Nicho Hynes in the NSW No.7 jersey for game two as Maguire looked for more polish in attack.

Despite struggling to recapture his best form for Parramatta since his lay-off, Moses showed the sparkle that makes him one of the NRL’s most creative playmakers.

Moses delivered an almost flawless display in the Blues’ 38-18 thrashing of Queensland to level the series and win the player-of-the-match medal.

He gave credit to his teammates, particularly the Blues forwards, for allowing him to shine.

“It’s a good feeling,” Moses told Channel Nine when asked about winning the award.

“I thought it was a team performance. I’m not going to be able to do the things that I did on the field without the forwards laying an outstanding platform.”

Moses had four try-assists among their haul of seven and kept the Queenslanders on the back foot, kicking for 431 metres.

Not normally known for his steely defence, he twice forced a knock-on by Maroons five-eighth Tom Dearden with heavy tackles.

Former NSW coach Phil Gould, who steered the Blues to a 14-0 victory in the first Origin match ever played at the MCG back in 1994, said Moses had “come of age”.

“Absolutely stellar,” Gould said in commentary.

“He’s (Moses) come of age on the representative scene tonight.

“He’s running the show.”

Ex-Blues halfback Andrew Johns went further, saying it was the best game Moses had played in any arena.

Maguire’s other major selection changes also came up trumps.

Fullback Dylan Edwards, making his Origin debut in place of former skipper James Tedesco, looked right at home and bagged a second-half try.

Centre Latrell Mitchell also scored, terrorising the Maroons in both attack and defence in a physical display.