Moses must nail down Origin role as speculation swirls
EVEN though Moses Mbye was only given a seven minute taste of State of Origin in front of a deafening Lang Park crowd, he must be feeling totally drained at the moment.
In the past couple of weeks the proud Noosa Pirate product has gone from a club level low, through injury and word that the Wests Tigers captain was going to be benched... to selection for Queensland as the all-important number 14 super sub.
"It was an emotional week,” Mbye told NRL.com after his teary celebrations the Maroons' stirring come-from-behind 18-14 win on Wednesday night.
"It was a rugby league rollercoaster.
"At one point there I was told I wasn't even going to be in the starting side for the Tigers, then I was injured, then I was in the Queensland side.”
On the weekend, ABC Grandstand speculated that Wests wanted to keep Mbye but he might find himself as hooker in the 2020 season. On Sunday, Mbye told the Brisbane media he would be staying at the Tigers and honouring his contract.
In the lead up to Origin I, Mbye told Foxsports that his first realisation of how passionate Queensland was as a football side was when he saw Maroons legend and Raging Bull Gorden Tallis "ragdoll” Brett Hodgson into touch.
"I can remember sitting there as a kid and seeing steam coming out of Gordie's ears and thinking 'wow, that is true passion', and seeing the way it affected every person in that lounge room,” Mbye said.
"It's a little bit surreal to be sitting here 17 years later preparing to pull on my first Maroons jumper.
"It's difficult to describe the range of emotion I felt when my phone rang last Sunday and saw Kevin Walters' name pop up.
"I was at home in Sydney having a barbecue with some friends and family.
"I actually had my Tigers bag packed and was ready to train at Concord the following morning, but then I ended up getting on a plane to Brisbane instead.
"It was pretty emotional when I got off the phone to Kevvy. It was a dream come true. You get this overwhelming sense of excitement mixed with nerves, relief, and just about every emotion I've ever experienced.”
When his long Origin wait on the bench was over, Mbye did his best to make the minutes count, with one rugby league scribe giving him a pass mark of five out of 10.
The NRL website analysis of Telstra Tracker data examined the surge in intensity of players with the average metres per minute run by players in the Telstra Premiership logged at 77, across forwards, backs and bench players, taking into account how far they travel in their time on field.
In Origin last week that soared to 95 over the length of the game.
And the NRL found that individually it was two short, high-energy bursts off the bench from Mbye and Blues utility Jack Wighton that recorded the highest intensity readings of the game.
Queensland's backs were operating at a higher intensity than their Blues counterparts (91-83) while for NSW it was the forwards with a 97-89 advantage.
On Friday night, just two days after the heady dressing rooms celebrations in Brisbane, Mbye came crashing back down to earth as his Tigers suffered a 28-0 defeat at the hands of the Canberra Raiders.
He started as skipper in the centres, but Mbye was constantly shifted between fullback and five-eighth due to injuries to his side, which will do little to quell the speculation swirling around his future.
The latest reports have him linked with a move to North Queensland.
With Queensland unlikely to change a winning side, except through injury, Mbye can be excused for looking ahead to going back into Origin camp to surround himself with some positive vibes ahead of a possible round two series clincher in Perth.