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Moseley set for third start on NRL grand final day

Norths Devils hooker Kierran Moseley is heading back to NRL grand final day determined to play his part in a championship that eluded him eight years ago.

Moseley featured in the inaugural NRL State Championship for a high-flying Penrith Panthers team that fell to the Northern Pride.

His Devils teammate Connor Broadhurst played in the 2016 national decider for Burleigh Bears, who fell to the Illawarra Cutters.

Moseley and Broadhurst have relayed their experience to the Devils as the back-to-back Hostplus Cup premiers hope to extend their seven-game winning streak that led to last Saturday’s stirring Hostplus Cup grand final victory.

Moseley will return to Sydney on Sunday to play against the Penrith club that gave him his NRL debut in 2014 and a national championship start a few weeks later.

“I remember that game well against the Pride and it was one that we really had expected to play well in,” Moseley said.

“We had been a really good team that year –we wrapped up the minor premiership with five or six weeks to go – but we just didn’t click that day and the Pride wanted it more than us.

“It’s a great chance to play on the biggest day of the rugby league year and it’s a chance to finish the season with a title that Norths has never won before.”

Moseley will make his third start on NRL grand final day – he was part of Penrith’s Under 20 premiership in 2013 against a New Zealand Warriors team led by Devils co-skipper Michael Sio.

Moseley’s return from a broken arm in August was a huge boost to the Devils. His first game back coincided with the start of Norths’ unbroken winning streak.

He isn’t fazed by the bookmakers’ odds that have the Devils posted as a longshot to beat the Panthers and end NSW’s stretch of four consecutive wins.

“They have a bunch of fulltime players in their team and they have played really well this season,” Moseley said.

“We don’t have anywhere near the same number of fulltime players but we’re excited at the chance to play.”

The Devils returned to training last night missing Brayden McGrady (elbow) and Tyrone Roberts (back) from the 17 men who played in last Saturday’s grand final.

Broncos-contracted players Tyson Gamble and Brendan Piakura have been named for Sunday’s clash after both featured in the 16-10 win over the Dolphins at Redcliffe last Saturday.

That win gave Gamble a clean sweep of Brisbane’s major premierships – Hostplus Cup, Brisbane Rugby League and Hastings Deering Colts – as he prepares for his final match before taking up an NRL deal in Newcastle.

The Devils are playing in their first NRL State Championship final after last year’s decider was not played due to the Covid pandemic.

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