Wests Tigers star Mitchell Moses admits it’s no coincidence his emergence as the team’s on-field general has come in the absence of axed veteran Robbie Farah.
Coach Jason Taylor has praised the recent spike in leadership from his young pivot, which he says began when Farah and club captain Aaron Woods went into NSW State of Origin camp midway through the year.
Moses, who will lead the Tigers without regular halves partner Luke Brooks in Sunday’s crucial NRL match against North Queensland, said someone needed to fill the void left by the experienced Farah.
“He’s a massive leader, Robbie,” Moses said.
“With him out of the team, you definitely have got to step up. He’s played 200 or something first grade games. That’s a massive loss. I knew that for myself, I had to stand up and take that leadership role.”
With the Tigers sitting precariously outside the top eight on percentages, Moses revealed he has also been driven by the club’s four-year final drought.
The Tigers last played a finals game in a semi-final defeat to the Warriors in 2011.
“I felt like it’s that time of the year that you’ve got to stand up. I’m sick of watching the semi-finals on TV. I needed to stand up and really take control in the halves,” Moses said.
The 21-year-old has been one of the Tigers’ best in recent weeks, setting up five tries in the team’s past four games – four of them wins.
After being upset with how he was being used last season, Moses praised Taylor for opening up the team’s game plan to suit their individual styles of play.
“We weren’t happy with how we were playing footy the year before, but full credit to JT, he’s been open to a change,” he said.
“He knew all along, it was all part of the plan to play structured footy and finally we can start opening it up. He was open to that. We’ve got that good level now where we can play but also grind games as well.”