Martin O’Neill’s squad went third in Group D with a 4-nil win over Gibraltar in Faro. Monday’s opponents did Ireland a favour by beating Scotland in Tblisi, but Shay Given knows that will make the Georgians an even tougher prospect at the Aviva.
Most encouragingly for Eels fans, the oft-maligned defender was steadfast off the ball, linking well with fellow right-edge men Kenny Edwards and Michael Jennings.There was a clear plan for the Dogs to run traffic at him – largely through Raymond Faitala-Mariner – and Moses absorbed it all, getting through 20 tackles with just two misses to go with his three tackles busts, two line break assists, 75 run metres and 375 kick metres.His effort drew the praise of his coach Brad Arthur, particularly for his effort in commanding the ball in extra time with the game there to be won.”It’s a big moment and he nailed it,” Arthur said after the 13-12 win.”He was nice and calm going into golden point, spoke really well to the players.” While was unquestionably Moses’s best all-round game since joining the Eels, Arthur rejected suggestions Moses had had a slow start to his career in blue and gold.”He’s had four wins from six games, I don’t know the last time he did that,” Arthur said.”He’s had to fit into a new style of football, new defensive systems. How many coaches has he had in the past? He’s had to adapt and he’s adapted really well and defensively he’s worked really hard and tonight I thought he really aimed up defensively, he was good.”Moses has appeared to benefit from a switch that has seen veteran Test and Origin centre Michael Jennings moved to Moses’s right side.”Having ‘Jenko’ there helps him but he got his body in front, made his tackles, he was nice and committed but he needs to do that for us every single week,” Arthur added.What Arthur was less pleased with was the way his team let their opponents back into the contest after appearing to dominate the first half.”We invited them back into the contest but if you’re a Bulldogs player you probably thought they earned the right to get back in the contest and they did,” Arthur said.”We just couldn’t get out of our half. Our very first set from the kick off in the second half just wasn’t good enough. They rolled 70 metres and there’s no excuse for that to happen.”Maybe I need to rip into the boys a bit more before we go out after half-time. They (the Bulldogs) just had some big bodies out there and carried hard and aggressive and their season was on the line and their want and desire was there and they carried really hard. We didn’t get our bodies in front and they rolled us.”