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Nothing but respect between two NSW halfbacks

True Blues Nathan Cleary and Mitch Moses say they have nothing but respect for each other as they prepare to face off in another NRL edition of the ‘Battle of the West’ tomorrow night (Friday 15 March).

Despite being rivals on the field, the two halfbacks only speak highly of each other off it.

They also shared the Westpac NSW Blues No.7 jersey in 2023 – Cleary in Game One, Moses in Games Two and Three.

“I think there is a mutual respect there,” Cleary said, in the lead-up to the Penrith-Parramatta NRL Round Two match at BlueBet Stadium.

“I always enjoy coming up against him and I think particularly over the last few years his game has grown.

“Once we are on the field, we are rivals, and I will be trying my best to get one over him and get the win.

“I definitely have respect for him.”

Moses echoed the same sentiments about his opposite number.

“I have big wraps on Nath,” Moses said.

“He is an unbelievable player, and we are definitely going to have to watch him this week.”

The clash between the Panthers and Eels has become one of the biggest games on the NRL calendar each year.

With the Eels having won four of the last six games against the 2023 premiers, Cleary is looking for some redemption tomorrow. 

“You can always feel the buzz around when it is the Battle of the West,” Cleary explained.

“You can always feel the rivalry between Parramatta and Penrith.

“They had had it on us the last few regular season games, they got us last year at home which was disappointing.

“It’s an exciting one.”

Despite the Eels seemingly being seen as a bogey team for the Panthers, Moses believes none of it matters unless they can replicate their success in the business end of the season.

“They have gotten us in the games that have mattered,” Moses said.

“We have an okay record against them but it’s a new year and a new season so we will have to see how we go.

“We need to expect anything from them, they will be fired up against their home crowd.

“It will be a good challenge for us.”


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