Mitchell Moses made the ultimate sacrifice for his team on Friday with a spot in the Grand Final on the line.
The Parramatta Eels star put the team first as he opted to miss out on the birth of his first child to line-up alongside his teammates against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Stream every game of the 2022 NRLW Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Moses’ partner Bri gave birth to a baby girl but Moses made the huge sacrifice to stay in Townsville for the game.
Fox League’s Yvonne Sampson said: “It’s a huge decision for any player to make – to miss the birth of your first child or to play in the biggest game of your career.”
Cooper Cronk said it was “the most important day of Mitch’s life, he’s got football and family coming together all in one day.
“Now there’s the added pressure of having his first baby coming into the world today. If he can’t do it today, he’s probably never going to do it.”
Moses was spotted cradling a ball in the change rooms and Broncos legend Gorden Tallis joked it was as if he was pretending to hold a newborn baby.
“When he was holding the footy it looked like he was nursing something already,” Tallis said.
“Sitting in the sheds and he was practising already.”
The Eels flew out from Sydney on Thursday headed for Townsville and the showdown against the Cowboys.
“We’ll play it as we go, we’ve got all the travel and that,” Moses said to Code Sports.
“(Bri is) good, she’s ready to go. It’s very exciting, it’s our first one.
“I’m feeling very good, very nervous but excited.”
NRL legend Johnathan Thurston questioned the Eels’ decision to fly up only the day before the game.
“They’re well and truly here for a hit and run mission,” Thurston said on Channel 9’s 100% Footy this week.
“Just get the game done, and get the win and get out of here — I would have been bringing the team up (earlier) to try and acclimatise.
“The days are hot, and it’s a humid night as well.
“They will struggle, and we’ve seen that in Darwin when the boys played at the start of the year against each other, but the Parramatta side are a totally different side to that game.
“Playing in Townsville, you’re used to the travel — that’s what you’ve got to do when you live up here.”
The Eels have a chance of breaking the longest premiership drought in the NRL, having last won the competition back in 1986.