WAITING GAME: Moses Mbye stretches during a Canterbury Bulldogs NRL training session at Belmore Sports Ground this month in preparation for the finals series.
WAITING GAME: Moses Mbye stretches during a Canterbury Bulldogs NRL training session at Belmore Sports Ground this month in preparation for the finals series. Renee Mckay

Ennis injury opens door for rookie

HE has never played in a finals series and has just eight NRL matches to his name, but ex-Noosa Pirate Moses Mbye is eyeing a start in Sunday's NRL grand final.

At just 21, Mbye is poised to take his place in the big dance following a major injury to Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis.

Ennis left the field in the first half of Saturday night's 18-12 preliminary final win over Penrith and did not return.

Canterbury confirmed scans conducted yesterday morning revealed fractures in his left foot with early indications signalling the hooker is facing an uphill battle to play against the Rabbitohs.

Although he has never played an NRL game at hooker, the rookie could become the answer for a Canterbury team bereft of playmaking depth.

The youngster has deputised at halfback, five-eighth and centre during his stints in the big time and was 18th man for Saturday night's preliminary final.

Reynolds played the remainder of the match at hooker following Ennis's withdrawal, with the crafty No.6 doing a solid job as a stand-in rake.

The Bulldogs also have Damien Cook, who played hooker in round 14 when Michael Ennis replaced injured halfback Trent Hodkinson, but former NRL grand finalist Noel Goldthorpe believes Des Hasler will pick Mbye.

"He is a very good player and I know that he will slot straight in wherever they

need him," the former Noosa coach said.

"I'm not sure what Des (Hasler) will do there, but I would suggest that he will rotate Moses, Reynolds and Hodkinson around during the match.

"As soon as I saw Ennis's face when he was injured, you could tell he knew it was bad.

"This is what you play football for; to play on the biggest stage, and it is a huge opportunity for Moses."

Goldthorpe, who has spent time with Mbye, said it was not just his football nous that had him confident the former Noosa Pirate would shine.

"He is a talent, no doubt, but he is a very centred bloke and has a good level head on his shoulders," he said.

"He is a very intelligent young fella which is just as important."

The Bulldogs announced they would provide an update on the Ennis injury tomorrow.