How Moses convinced Maguire he was the man to take over No.7 jersey

Michael Maguire sat behind the posts at CommBank Stadium on Saturday night and loved what he saw from Mitchell Moses – and it had nothing to do with his kicking game.

Maguire has ditched sitting on the halfway line for a seat behind the goalposts to watch Blues hopefuls on more than one occasion this season.

The coach wanted to make sure his latest No.7 was getting his numbers right in attack and directing the ball at tiring players, or to the side of the field with the fewest defensive players.

Maguire has told previously of how sitting at one end of the ground gives him a better look at defensive lines that may be “six and four”, or “five and five”, a reference to the ten players stacked either side of the two markers, excluding the fullback.

Parramatta lost against the Sydney Roosters, but Moses did just about everything right when he had the ball in his hands. Maguire, who had attended South Sydney reunion during the day before racing out west, has always rated 29-year-old Moses highly.

He said he had gone with Moses ahead of Nicho Hynes, the Blues’ halfback in game one, because his big-game experience was hard to ignore. Moses would have been in contention for game one had he not been unavailable with a foot injury.

how moses convinced maguire he was the man to take over no.7 jersey

Mitchell Moses is back in the NSW No. 7 jersey

“With the opportunity of a wider group to select from, and what I’ve looked at, I’m really comfortable with Mitch coming in,” Maguire said. “And he’s been there and done it. He knows what to expect.”

Moses, who has represented the Blues three times – including his 2021 debut when he played almost the entire game with a broken back – said his Origin call-up was a welcome distraction after another tough year in clubland.

“I probably haven’t been this excited in a long time,” Moses said. “Obviously the way we’ve been going at club level hasn’t been too good, so this is a breath of fresh air to come into this environment, be with such class players and try to get a job done Wednesday week.

“I come here full of confidence and ready to go. I’m thankful ‘Madge’ [Maguire] has thrown me the No. 7 jersey.”

Moses will link with Jarome Luai – they were the Blues’ halves in game two last year – along with new fullback Dylan Edwards and hooker Reece Robson. The North Queensland No.9 was delayed en route to Sydney on Monday after his plane from Townsville hit a bird and had to do a U-turn.

Meanwhile, Hynes has taken his Origin axing well, privately conceding he could have done a number of things better in game one, and vowed to bounce back strongly for the Sharks, who do not return to training until Thursday because of the bye round.

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