Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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Mitchell Moses will become a father for the first time THIS WEEK ahead of the provisional finals

So Mitchell Moses is set to play the biggest game of his career on Friday night, but footy isn’t high on his agenda this week.

That’s because the Parramatta halfback is set to become a father with partner Bri Gardoni to give birth to the couple’s first child sometime this week.

Moses has to juggle the demands of playing endgames with the mix of excitement and nervousness that comes with becoming a first-time parent.

In his case, that means a nervous wait in Sydney before the Eels fly to Townsville on Thursday before taking on Cowboys the following night.

“We’re going to play it as we go, we’ve got the whole journey and that,” the 28-year-old told CODE Sports.

‘[Bri is] well, she’s ready to go. It’s very exciting, it’s our first. I feel very good, very nervous but excited.”

The Eels remain on course to overcome what is currently the longest Premier League drought in the NRL – Parramatta last won the competition in 1986 – after beating Canberra 40-4 in the semi-finals on Friday night.

Moses was at his best against the Raiders, hitting a try-to-go with a try-assist, three tackle breaks and two line breaks. He also converted five of Parramatta’s seven tries as the Eels advanced to their first provisional final since 2009.

It was an emphatic response from a player who was often questioned for failing to get his team across the line when it mattered most.

As of Friday night, the Eels under Brad Arthur had only won twice in nine finals games, but he came out on top, as did his team.

“He was very good,” Arthur told reporters after the game.

“There was talk of him not being able to handle the pressure but I think he showed tonight that he can handle the pressure.”

An already pivotal week, both personally and professionally, took an even more emotional turn on Monday when Moses attended his grandmother’s funeral.

The Eels were expected to practice on Monday, but Fox Sports reported Arthur had opted to postpone the session on compassionate grounds so Moses could attend.

His grandmother, Barbara Elias, caused a sensation in the country of origin in 1992 when she jumped the fence at the old Sydney Football Stadium to wipe blood from the faces of her son and New South Wales legend Benny Elias.

Meanwhile, former NRL star Braith Anasta believes this year is the Eels’ best chance of winning a Premier League.

Parramatta will lose hooker Reed Mahoney and star backrower Isaiah Papali’i to the Bulldogs and West Tigers respectively at the end of the season, while Marata Niukore will join the Warriors.

And Anasta suggested the clock was ticking in the Eels’ Premiership window.

The most important [about this season] are they [Parramatta] lose Mahoney and Papali’i next year.

“So if they don’t win the competition this year, they won’t win it next year,” Anasta said on Fox League’s NRL 360 on Monday.

“This is a small window, an opportunity they have to win a prime ministership.

“They’re in good form, they’re up against the Cowboys and if they win they can beat Penrith [who play the Rabbitohs in the other preliminary final] as they are the only team to have beaten them twice this season.

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