As Mounties went about sounding out an ominous warning for all comers in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition, backrower Anthony Moraitis made clear his ambitions to rise to the NRL grade this season.
On the back of his side’s eight-tries-to-five win over a depleted Jets outfit, the former Newtown regular said he’s confident he has what it takes to make an NRL start for the Raiders in 2017.
“I’m ready. I’m at that age now where I want to start getting some NRL games under my belt,” Moraitis told NSWRL.com.au.
“For me at the moment though it’s about playing consistent footy for Mounties. I know if I can string together a run of good games, Ricky (Stuart’s) watching, and I’ll receive the rewards.”
Taking plenty from the tutelage of quality, experienced forwards at first the Sharks and now the Raiders, Moraitis said the influence of the elder heads from the squads has not been lost upon himself.
“There’s a great squad at the Raiders, I’ve gone to another club, similar to Cronulla where there’s a lot of good backrowers, and some high-quality ones at that.
“Internationals like (Josh) Papalii, and at the Sharks there was (Luke) Lewis and Wade (Graham).
“I’ve learned a lot under those boys, and now I’m just biding my time.”
Moraitis was an ever-present danger in the Mounties outfit that took their record to two wins from as many starts this season.
Turning out for the Jets on 22 occasions in 2016, the skilful edge forward couldn’t hide the smile on his face at the end of the 80 minutes, after notching a win over his former allies.
“It was funny, coming up against a lot of my good friends there. I’ve really got a soft spot for Newtown,” the 21-year-old said.
“They’re a great club. But I didn’t want to lose to them, I’d have never had heard the end of it from ‘Walks’ (Jayden Walker) and the other boys.
“But I thought our defence was a bit scrappy there towards the end. That’s something to work on for next week.”