Andrew Johns keeps a close eye on Parramatta’s training session. Picture: Supplied
Andrew Johns keeps a close eye on Parramatta’s training session. Picture: Supplied

Immortal’s 10 Commandments for Moses and his men

A 10-minute conference call between a rugby league Immortal and the Eels' spine has transformed unbeaten Parramatta into premiership contenders.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal rugby league legend Andrew Johns is involved in a weekly pre-captain's run loud speaker tutorial with Parramatta's spine - fullback Clint Gutherson, five-eighth Dylan Brown, hooker Reed Mahoney and halfback Mitch Moses.

Eels coach Brad Arthur calls the four stars into his office before the final training session each week to run through a tip sheet with Johns, who is called on a mobile phone.

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Parramatta's halves coach can't personally attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

With Arthur and Johns offering a comprehensive tip sheet, Moses, Brown, Gutherson and Mahoney have guided Parramatta to four straight wins to start this season.

And Parramatta's unbeaten run will be tested again on Friday in what should be an enthralling Western Sydney derby against Penrith, who are also undefeated.

"The boys are in my office before captain's run and we put Joey on speaker and he talks to them for five to 10 minutes, the four of them, and myself," Arthur said.

"The four will sit down and we will ring Joey about the next game. It's good to throw ideas around from someone different and have another set of eyes on us.

The 10 Commandments.
The 10 Commandments.

"Joey will reiterate to the spine what we have pushed during the week - staying calm and where there might be some opportunities.

'Penrith will use this defence so we need to be ready. Do not pull the trigger too early'. Any help we can get as a side, a club and me, as a coach, it's unreal. Ever since Joey came on board he wanted to work within our system. He isn't telling the spine something different to what I am. We are working together.

"Joey will often ring Mitchell or Dylan on their own as well for a one-on-one but he won't go overboard and bombard them.

"I also talk to Joey after each game. He offers me ideas and tips. He wants to coach how we want to play. We both share similar views on what works for our team."

Johns has played a key role in Moses' emergence as a NSW Origin candidate this year.

The eight Immortal, Johns has mentored Moses, who is arguably the NRL's form halfback this season.

"He has a stack of natural talent,'' Johns said. "The talent was always there for him. He just seems a lot calmer, his kicking game has been dynamite and the way he is controlling the team.

Mitchell Moses is in career-best form. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty
Mitchell Moses is in career-best form. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty

"He sees the game really well and is quick. I've been really impressed with him this year. With the new rules, the attacking kicking game is so important now and he has been nailing that.

"Everything you've been told as a halfback doesn't really drop until you're in your mid-20s. The game will slow down from a visual point of view for him now - as you get older the game slows."

Arthur gave an insight into the Johns-Moses conversations.

"He talks about staying in control, not going for the big play all the time, earn the right, build pressure, be patient, rather than trying to pull the trigger all the time and how you earn your points at the end of a game," Arthur said.

Johns and Brad Arthur talk shop at training. Picture: Supplied
Johns and Brad Arthur talk shop at training. Picture: Supplied

"Mitchell is maturing with his footy. Joey talks to him about kick finishes, thinking about setting up sets for his kicks, more so than worrying about 'attack, attack, attack' all the time. That will come."

Moses' uncle, the great Kangaroos hooker Benny Elias, added: "The work Mitchell has done with Joey in the off-season, it's been invaluable. He has gone to the next level, having one of the greats look after him in the off-season.

"He has put on some beef and his defence has improved 400 per cent. He is very strong and is far more confident and mature. It's no surprise why Parramatta are undefeated."