It was the State of Origin selection gamble that could change the course of Matt Moylan’s career.
As NSW celebrated their 18-14 win over Queensland in game three, Moylan revealed how he is now eyeing a career move into the halves after ensuring Laurie Daley’s five-eighth experiment paid big dividends on Wednesday night.
Daley’s decision to play Moylan alongside James Maloney came despite the NSW coach insisting during Origin build-up that Jack Bird would start the game.
But Moylan admitted he knew that he was going to be in the run-on side from the moment he joined the training camp.
“I told a few people, told family that I was playing six. I just had to keep it under wraps from you guys (the media),” Moylan said.
Queensland tested Moylan from the kick-off, forcing him to make four successive tackles in the first set of six.
“It’s something I was expecting,” Moylan said.
“Having not played there for a while I was expecting a bit of traffic down our edge. I just had to get in front and make my tackles.”
But the extra workload failed to blunt his attack as he came up with two crucial line-break assists to offset two turnovers despite never playing an NRL game at pivot.
“I really enjoyed it. You get a bit more involved there and get your hands on the ball a bit earlier in a different sort of situation,” Moylan said.
Moylan’s five-eighth role for NSW could now force the hand of Panthers coach Anthony Griffin.
Griffin toyed with moving Moylan to the halves in the pre-season before shelving the idea after two trial games.
Now Moylan is warming to a permanent move to five-eighth.
“It’s something that I enjoy doing. It’s definitely something I want to keep doing and consider playing there,” he said.
“It’s up to those back at the club, where they want me to play, and what `Loz’, the coaching staff and selectors are thinking here.
“Having played fullback for all of my career in grade, and having got the opportunity to play six here tonight, I’m not too sure there whether it’s just a one-off or if I’m playing fullback.
Daley was satisfied with Moylan’s contribution.
“He’s a player, and footy players can handle whatever. Obviously there was a couple of things there that he could’ve done better, but for his first crack in this arena, he’s pretty good,” he said.