Moses injury leaves Eels in halfback hole

Parramatta have a number of options to fill the hole vacated by injured halfback Mitchell Moses, including forgotten playmaker Jai Field.

MITCHELL MOSES
MITCHELL MOSES Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Parramatta could be forced to call on forgotten playmaker Jai Field for the foreseeable future following a suspected calf injury to star Mitchell Moses.

The Eels overcame the first-half loss of their halfback, as well as a late comeback from Canberra, to claim a golden-point thriller on Saturday night.

Moses, who has spearheaded Parramatta's push to the top of the table, left Bankwest Stadium on crutches after suffering the injury back-tracking in defence.

"He was back-pedalling to get back after there was a bit of a stoppage. He was back-pedalling to get onside I think," coach Brad Arthur said.

"It's his calf, I don't know (how bad), until we get scans and all that.

"He'll be out for a bit."

The Bankwest Stadium surface was heavily criticised after two Sydney Roosters players suffered season-ending ACL injuries on Friday night.

The incidents prompted the NRL to undergo an emergency inspection of the ground, which was later cleared and described as "surprisingly in good condition".

Arthur insisted Moses' setback had nothing to do with the surface.

"He had a bit of a calf complaint in that COVID period. It's just what it is. The turf's got nothing to do with it," he said.

The attention now turns to who fills Moses' spot going forward, beginning with next week's home game against North Queensland.

Brad Takairangi came off the bench to join Dylan Brown in the halves for the second half, however it's all but certain Arthur will look for a new playmaker.

That could result in a call-up for Field, who joined the club on a train-and-trial deal in the pre-season, while Jordan Rankin was signed just over a week ago.

The versatile Will Smith is another option, as is Jaeman Salmon, neither of whom have played first grade in almost a year.

Rankin's last appearance in the NRL was with the Wests Tigers in 2017, having spent the past two years in the Super League with Huddersfield and Castleford.

Field was also set to move for England after leaving St George Illawarra last year, only for the deal to fall over at the final hurdle.

Asked how he planned to fill Moses' hole, Arthur said: 'I'm not sure. I don't know."


AAP