NRL News 2022: Mitchell Moses misses birth of first child, Bri Gardoni, Parramatta Eels vs North Queensland Cowboys, finals

Mitchell Moses made the ultimate sacrifice for his team on Friday, choosing to miss the birth of his first child in Townsville.

The Parramatta Eels star put the team in first place with a Grand Final spot on the line and his decision paid off with the Eels 24-20 win.

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Moses and the Eels flew to Townsville on Thursday and Bri started having contractions Thursday night. Bri gave birth to a baby girl on Friday, but Moses made the huge sacrifice to stay in Townsville for the game.

Fox League’s Yvonne Sampson said: “It is a huge decision for any player 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 brought football and family together in one day.

“Now there is the added pressure of having his first baby in the world today. If he can’t do it today, he probably never will.”

Moses spoke about the incredible day he had on Friday and revealed that he met his daughter on FaceTime.

“The whole week has been a rollercoaster. I lost my grandmother last week and we laid her to rest on Monday,” Moses said.

“I welcome my first child via FaceTime for the first time, four hours ago, and now I’m playing in a grand finale next week.

“I’ll get the boys on the plane as soon as possible so I can meet my little one. We have two names, but she wouldn’t call on her own, so she waits until I get there and we’ll call.”

The Eels are playing in their first major final since 2009. They haven’t tasted ultimate NRL success since 1986.

Moses was spotted rocking a ball in the locker rooms and Broncos legend Gorden Tallis joked that it was like pretending to hold a newborn.

“When he held the footy, it looked like he was already grooming something,” Tallis said.

“Sitting in the sheds and he was already practicing.”

NRL legend Johnathan Thurston questioned the Eels’ decision not to fly until the day before the game.

“They’re well and truly here for a hit and run,” Thurston said this week on Channel 9’s 100% Footy.

“Just finish the game, get the win and get out of here – I would have had the team come (earlier) to try and acclimate.

“The days are hot, and it’s a humid night too.

“They’re going to have a hard time, and we saw that in Darwin when the guys played against each other at the beginning of the year, but the Parramatta side is a completely different side of that game.

“When you play in Townsville, you’re used to traveling — that’s what you need to do when you live here.”

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