Time is ticking on the Wests Tigers to finally start delivering and stop offering up their youth as an excuse.
That’s the view of a tough-talking Mitchell Moses who says they’re running out of defences for their NRL finals drought and the time to start delivering is now.
With former skipper Robbie Farah departed, coach Jason Taylor is finally assembling the squad he wants.
And the pressure is on the club’s “big four” of Moses, Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods and James Tedesco to finally get them to the top eight after last year’s near miss.
“We’re not using the excuse anymore that we’re too young,” Moses said.
“We’ve got a really good 17 and, if we keep them on the park, we’ll go alright this year. We’re going to learn a lot out of last year.”
Moses has earned his first representative selection as part of the World All Stars for Friday’s clash with the Indigenous All Stars in Newcastle.
The Tigers’ 52-10 flogging at the hands of Canberra in the final round last year still sticks in Moses’ craw.
Had they managed to get over the line at a packed Leichhardt Oval, they would have qualified for their first finals since 2011 however turned belly up on the big stage.
Moses denies the Farah saga, which culminated in the NSW Origin No.9’s exit to South Sydney after being dropped to reserve grade, proved a distraction.
The 22-year-old, who is off-contract in 2017 along with Brooks, Woods and Tedesco, finished last year with a flourish and hit career-best form.
He credited the open licence to play his own brand of footy, given to him by Taylor, as helping him to hit his straps.
“I started backing myself a bit more and playing my own footy,” he said.
“JT was a massive help, he let me open up my footy a bit and I got a bit of confidence on the back of a few games.
“I finished off the year alright but we didn’t finish off the year well as a team.”