Wests Tigers playmaker Benji Marshall is one of the NRL’s leading authorities on halfbacks rediscovering their confidence – and he reckons Mitchell Moses has got his back.
The battle between Marshall and the man he effectively replaced at Concord, Moses, will add an interesting subplot to the Tigers’ clash with Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
Marshall’s second coming since his return to the Tigers has been one of the stories of the 2018 season.
The 33-year-old knows all too well the fickle nature of form having rediscovered it in what could be the final year of his glittering career.
On the flipside, Moses appeared to lack his usual swagger during the Eels’ winless opening six weeks of the season.
But Marshall said his opposition No.7 had seemingly flicked a switch during Sunday’s 44-10 demolition of Manly.
Asked if he was wary of Moses, Marshall said he and Eels halves partner Corey Norman appeared to have turned a corner.
“I think they found a lot of confidence with their running game, both of them,” Marshall said.
“The thing with them is they’ve been trying hard and their execution just hasn’t been there.
“When you play off the back of slower play-the-balls, execution is a lot harder. It looked like they were on the front foot the whole game and they’re a hard team to stop when they’re on the front foot.”
After Parramatta posted their first two points of the season, Marshall said they looked ready to make the kind of impression on the competition which so many had expected.
“It was only going to be a matter of time before they found their mojo and they looked like they found it,” Marshall said.
“Unfortunately for us that’s just bad timing. The thing it does do, it makes us have to step up our game. We know they’re going to be on.”
Marshall rebuffed claims the Tigers’ bubble had burst after having their three-game winning streak snapped by Newcastle, pointing out they were still 5-2 and in the top four.
“There’s definitely confidence in the team,” Marshall said.
“I don’t think we played that well on the weekend. You’ve got to give Newcastle credit, they’re a completely different side to last year. From who we’ve played, their attack has been the best in the competition.”