Former Canterbury veteran Reni Maitua is the reason why halfback Moses Mbye won’t be getting carried away with Friday’s romp over South Sydney.
Mbye once again starred in the Bulldogs’ 42-12 NRL thrashing of the Rabbitohs in their annual Good Friday encounter, scoring a try and setting up two others in the win.
He also assisted in two line breaks before speaking glowingly of one of his mentors after the match, revealing that he heeds the advice of Maitua numerous times a week.
“When I first started a friendship with Ren, I hadn’t had a first grade cap under my belt, (but) he had plenty and a grand final,” Mbye said.
“I’m really good friends with his family and my family is good friends with his family. He’s been a real good role model for myself, not only on the field but off the field.
“Our relationship is good. I try and keep in touch with him 3-4 times a week even. I spoke to him last night actually. He’s a real good bloke.”
It was Maitua’s words of advice that ensured Mbye wasn’t looking too much in their runaway win over the Rabbitohs, even if they stormed to a 32-0 lead inside the opening half hour.
The 22-year-old said South Sydney simply weren’t as big a scalp without star Sam Burgess.
“(Reni’s) an older bloke and he told us that along your career, you’ll come across two blokes who inspire you… where you can look across the dressing room and just be instantly inspired,” he said.
“And I think Sam Burgess is one of those blokes to South Sydney. It was a massive loss for Souths.”
By the same token, Mbye believes teammate James Graham is one of those men.
The Bulldogs skipper had as many metres as the Rabbitohs’ entire starting forward pack in the first half alone, finishing the match with 170 metres from his game-high 18 carries.
“He carries that sort of aura about him where he’s so intense and so professional in the way he plays, it’s so tough,” Mbye said.
“You do look across the dressing room at James and think, `You know what, we’re going to be alright tonight because we’ve got James beside us’.”
The win lifts the Bulldogs to the top of the table ahead of next week’s clash against Canberra.