Wests Tigers young gun Mitchell Moses says it’s time to scrap the Holden Cup
16 February 2016
With NRL heavyweights set to discuss the “blueprint for the future” on Wednesday, Holden Cup graduate Mitch Moses believes the under 20s competition should be abolished.
Outgoing head of NRL strategy and game development Shane Richardson will meet representatives of the 16 NRL clubs at League Central, with the future of the under 20s competition to be one of the major topics of debate.
Richardson has recommended restructuring the National Youth Competition into a state-based under-20 structure, while revamping the state league into a platinum league.
“I don’t think it would be a bad thing if they get rid of it,” he said. "If you’re going to come into grade you have to play NSW Cup - you can’t just come straight from 20s and play first grade and expect to kill it.
“You’ve got to go play NSW Cup, play with the big boys and see how you can handle it there before you step up to first grade. Stepping up from 20s straight into first grade, I don’t think that’s right.”
The Holden Cup provides players with public exposure and a taste of the big time while playing in the NRL curtain raiser.
However, Moses insists there is a down side to the high profile nature of the competition ahead of the NSW Cup.
“You get the 20s players, they get a bit big-headed, they’ve been on TV before first grade, playing all those games and they get noticed,” Moses said.
"Then they come into first grade and it’s a real shock, it’s a completely different game. Even myself, I think I played about five games in NSW Cup before I played first grade and I think that helped me a lot - just getting my body in front of the big boys, in front of men, instead of kids, you know?
“[Former coach Mick Potter] wanted me to play NSW Cup before I played grade just to see how I handled it and that’s where you prove yourself in front of the men. If you can prove yourself well there, then you’re ready for first grade.”
Tigers coach Jason Taylor who also coached the Roosters under 20s, believes the NSW Cup should be the stepping stone into the NRL.
“I just think that it’s important that the NSW Cup competition is a strong competition,” he said.
"We need a high standard competition. We can’t have it akin to a park footy competition where players are going back and they are not going and playing one standard below, they are going back and playing two or three standards below.
“I’ve always liked the 20s competition, but I also think the NSW Cup competition is strong. To have the next most elite competition being the 20s, I think we are missing something there.”