Mitchell Moses in sad family drama after Eels make NRL grand final

Pictured left is Mitchell Moses playing for the Eels and with partner Bri Gardoni on the right.
Mitchell Moses sacrificed being present for the birth of his first child to help Parramatta make the NRL grand final. Pic: Getty/Instagram

Friday night was a bittersweet affair for Mitchell Moses after the Eels superstar missed the birth of his first child to help guide Parramatta into the NRL grand final.

In a week that also included a funeral for Moses' grandmother, the Eels halfback was sensational in his side's controversial 24-20 preliminary final victory over the Cowboys in Townsville.

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Moses's partner Bri Gardoni went into labour on Thursday evening, with the Parramatta star making the brutally difficult call to stay in Queensland with his team, rather than fly back to Sydney to be present for the birth of the couple's first child.

Gardoni gave birth to their baby girl on the Friday before the game, with Moses revealing after the match that he met his daughter for the first time on FaceTime.

"The whole week has been a rollercoaster," Moses told Channel Nine after the game.

"I lost my grandmother last week and we laid her to rest on Monday. Then I am welcoming my first child deadset over Facebook four hours ago. Now I am playing in a grand final next week."

Eels coach Brad Arthur - who had been under pressure to get his side to the decider - made special mention of Moses' sacrifice after the game.

“It’s good, I’m really happy for the boys – we made a lot of sacrifices along the way,“ Arthur said in the post-match press conference.

“Mitchell Moses made a massive sacrifice for his teammates today and over the last couple of days. He didn’t get to see the birth of his daughter – that’s huge.

“It was never really a process or a thought for him – we got on the plane yesterday, Bri was close the other day and I spoke to him today and I said ‘we will send you home’.

“I don’t want to be rude, because the birth of his new daughter is so important to him and his family, but the other part of his family is his mates.

“At least we made sure it was worth it.”

Seen here, Eels halves partners Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses share an embrace after beating the Cowboys to become the first side into the 2022 NRL grand final.
Eels halves partners Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses share an embrace after beating the Cowboys to become the first side into the 2022 NRL grand final. Pic: Getty

Parramatta beat North Queensland in controversial match

Fortune smiled on the Eels No.7 during the contest against the Cowboys after he set up the opening try for Will Penisini with a pass that looked to have gone forward.

However, it was the Eels' desperation at the death when the Cowboys looked like snatching a late victory that showed what they are made of and proved they deserve to be in next Sunday's grand final.

Parramatta trailed 20-12 early in the second half and appeared to be on their last legs in front of 25,372 raucous fans in the heat of Townsville.

They found something special from within to rally in style with prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard crashing over for his second try.

When back-rower Shaun Lane threw a clever pass to winger Maika Sivo, the Eels had two tries in seven minutes and a 24-20 lead.

The Cowboys had earlier refused to yield despite trailing 12-6 after co-captain Jason Taumalolo was sin-binned for a high shot on Eels second-rower Isaiah Papali'i in the 16th minute.

Cowboys back-rower Luciano Leilua crashed over just before Taumalolo returned to the fray.

The scores were locked at 12-all at halftime and the second stanza was a thrill a minute.

The Cowboys appeared favourites to advance. Then it was the Eels.

Winger Kyle Feldt put his foot on the touch line while seeking to level it up for the Cowboys and the Eels drew breath.

The Eels had so many heroes.

Try-savers by Waqa Blake on Valentine Holmes and Bailey Simonsson on Jeremiah Nanai stopped certain scores in the first half and Lane and fullback Clint Gutherson came up with some cracking defensive plays as the Cowboys threatened to snatch it late.

Parramatta will contest the grand final against the winner of Saturday night's second preliminary final between South Sydney and reigning premiers, Penrith.

with AAP

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