Mitch Moses has warned his high-flying Parramatta team not to get carried away with trying to play “touch footy” under the NRL’s new faster-ruck rules.
The first-placed Eels are set for a blockbuster attacking clash against Manly on Saturday night, with both sides appearing big beneficiaries of the league’s latest innovations.
Moses is arguably the half with most to gain.
He was player of the tournament in last year’s up-tempo Nines tournament, and showed again in last week’s win over Brisbane that he is one of the best when his team is on the front foot.
But he isn’t willing to buy into hype about a new free-wheeling game, insisting a clinical approach and high completions are still crucial.
“I definitely enjoyed a lot of extra room (against the Broncos),” said Moses, speaking as a Fox League ambassador.
“But you can’t get away with trying to play touch footy. You’ve still got to have that control in your game and be able to know when to play the plays.
“If you try and play that touch footy style you will get found out. You need to complete high. It hasn’t really changed in that aspect.
“We’re just trying to focus on what we can control – complete high, kick to the corners and try and suffocate teams at their own end.”
Moses has identified the Eels’ clash with Manly as a real litmus test for his team, after the Sea Eagles dismantled Canterbury on Sunday.
“It’s a great challenge for us this week to see where we are at,” Moses said.
“(Manly) are right up there with the top four sides. They will give the competition a real shake and I think they’re a big chance of winning the comp.
“They’ve got DCE at No.7 and Tommy (Trbojevic) at the back.
“It’s the platform their forwards lay, we have to stop their forwards roll on. If we can stop that we’ll be a chance of winning.”
Manly’s forwards have set the sights on shutting down Moses and his dangerous right edge.
The Sea Eagles’ opposing edge of Joel Thompson, Dylan Walker, Brad Parker and Jorge Taufua are yet to concede a try through the hands on that side this year.
“He’s on my side of the field and I’ve had some good battles with him,” Thompson said.
“It’s up to me. The responsibility is on me to not let down my teammates.
“I’ll work hard on watching video on him and make sure I stick to the plan on trying to contain him and do the job on him.”