Mitchell Moses in shock injury reveal as Zac Lomax set to win pivotal NSW role for Origin 2

Many would have expected Moses to get the nod, but he's reportedly not 100 per cent.

Zac Lomax is set to win the race to be NSW's goal-kicker in State of Origin 2 ahead of Latrell Mitchell, with reports emerging that Mitchell Moses has suffered an injury scare at training. With Nicho Hynes axed, the Blues have to find a new kicker for the all-important role for Game 2 at the MCG.

Michael Maguire has plenty of options, with Moses, Mitchell and Lomax all kickers at NRL level with the Eels, Rabbitohs and Dragons respectively. Dylan Edwards has also been kicking for the Panthers in the absence of Nathan Cleary, while Stephen Crichton is also more then capable.

Many would have expected Moses to win the job considering he has the best success rate at NRL level. But leading journalist Danny Weidler reported on Monday that the race was down to Lomax and Mitchell, with a decision to be made on Tuesday after the Blues' final training session.

Zac Lomax, Latrell Mitchell and Mitchell Moses.
The NSW goal-kicker will either be Zac Lomax (L) or Latrell Mitchell (centre), but not Mitchell Moses (R). Image: Getty

That decision is now seemingly made, with Maguire telling SEN radio on Tuesday that Lomax will likely have the kicking duties. "Zac is the front-runner at the moment," the NSW coach said. "Either one of them can but Zac will probably take the role at the moment."

Later on Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reported that Moses relinquished the job after reporting soreness in his foot at training. Moses has only played two games for the Eels since returning from a fractured foot he suffered in Round 3. There is no suggestion Moses won't be fit to play on Wednesday night, but the foot issue was serious enough for him to tell Maguire he can't kick goals.

Moses is kicking at 82 per cent so far in 2024, and has a 77 per cent success rate across his career. Lomax is kicking at 78 per cent in 2024, while Mitchell is at 72 per cent. Whoever gets the nod will have big shoes to fill, with Hynes kicking at an incredible 92 per cent this season.

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here at a NSW State of Origin training session.
Latrell Mitchell at a NSW State of Origin training session. Image: Getty

“Whoever takes the goal-kicking role, just put them between the sticks," Lomax said last week. "They’ve got to go up in sixes.

"I practice whenever I can. I love kicking and have done it forever. Nothing would change (in Melbourne), your ritual, your pre-game, it’s not like you’re doing a different run-up, you’ve just got more people watching. It’s not like you would do anything differently. You don’t want to change what works for you. Goal kicking is like a golf swing. Not everyone’s the same. The pressure is what comes with it but you use it as excitement.”

Cameron Murray said: “We’ve got some good kickers. I leave that decision up to the coach – the best kicker kicks.”

Zac Lomax, pictured here practicing his goal-kicking in NSW camp.
Zac Lomax practices his goal-kicking in NSW camp. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


While he won't be taking the kicking duties, Moses has stepped up and asserted his authority during NSW camp. The Blues faced off against the Melbourne Storm Jersey Flegg team in an opposed session at AAMI Park on Monday, and Jarome Luai revealed that Moses was the one calling the shots.

"He's been awesome, he's been really assertive of what he wants of this team and I think in a way that's sort of what we needed after game one," Luai said. "He's come in and brought that real leadership vibe and just freed up everyone else, allowing them to be at their best, so he's been awesome."

Moses' kicking in general play will be a huge weapon for the Blues, particularly with the open space the MCG seems to provide. Luai said Maguire was letting his halves run the side.

"He (Maguire) knows we're at the top of our game, he's picked players that are playing at their best footy, so he's trusted in that," Luai said. "He's been really good in sort of letting us take control of the team, bringing our own leadership skills out to the table and just own the side and we sort of love that as players, the trust that he's showed in us. We've done the work, we've done the prep and now it's time to lay it out all on the line and get this win."

with AAP