Dragons-bound Moltzen wants to go with Tigers trophy
September 12, 2011
MOTIVATION takes many forms at this time of year. For every eligible player it will be the chance of winning the trophy, for many it will be the chance of making up for not winning it. For Tim Moltzen, it will be making up for not even being able to experience that.
Moltzen, the in-form Wests Tigers fullback, missed all but five games of last season because of a knee injury, including the club’s preliminary final defeat against St George Illawarra.
‘‘It was definitely hard to watch,’’ Moltzen said. ''Bitter-sweet I suppose. I wanted them to do well, but at the same time, missing that, I definitely didn’t feel a part of it.
''It wasn’t fun. To go into training and not have anything to look forward to, or just knowing I was going to the game to sit in the stands and couldn’t do anything, it was really tough.
‘‘But I think we’ve really got a chance this year. Not too many people thought that we did halfway through the year. Hopefully we can go on from here.’’
Moltzen had never played in a finals match until last Friday night. It just so happened that it was against the team that bundled his team out, minus him, last year.
And also the same club Moltzen will join next year.
‘‘During the week, it’s something I think about a little bit,’’ Moltzen said of leaving the club. ''Coming up to the game, I’m definitely focused on the game and what I’ve got to do.
‘‘The thing that makes me think about it is just having to move, all the stuff around it. But I’m just really trying to focus on now. We’ve got a great chance here. I don’t want to focus on anything else other than what we’ve got to do.’’
The Dragons must be relishing the prospect of Moltzen joining them. After a slow start to the season, struggling to recover fully from a knee reconstruction, the 22-year-old’s switch to fullback has coincided with the team’s club record nine straight victories. He produced probably his best performance of the lot on Friday night against his future employer.
‘‘Sheensy [Tigers coach Tim Sheens] always said it would be a 12-month injury, even though it’s given a six-month timeframe,’’ Moltzen said. ''To get the speed back, confidence, there’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t really think … even after the full pre-season, I wasn’t a hundred per cent. I was lacking confidence, playing a bit of centres and in the halves and couldn’t really establish myself in a spot. I wasn’t really playing good footy. There wasn’t too much I could do.
‘‘When I got my chance against the Cowboys [in round 19], I just tried to grab it. I’ve been there ever since. I’m getting there now. I’m really enjoying my footy.’’
His teammates are enjoying his footy too. Five-eighth Benji Marshall says the form of Moltzen is a key reason he, hooker Robbie Farah and half Robert Lui have been so dangerous.
‘‘He’s running the ball back hard, he’s running with confidence, he’s looking confident, he’s taking bombs confidently,’’ Marshall said. ''Confidence is a big part of rugby league.
‘‘He’s flying for us. He’s a big loss for the club, a massive loss. I’m still devastated he’s going, especially the way he’s been playing. That’s rugby league.’’
Confidence has also been joined by comfort. Even though Moltzen had a successful stint at halfback for the Tigers in 2009, he said he preferred to play at the back.
'‘In ‘09 I was playing fullback, and I thought I was playing some decent footy,’’ Moltzen said. ''It was just the fact that we needed someone to play in the halves. We didn’t really have someone, so I just filled in. We ended up playing all right.
‘‘But we still didn’t make the finals that year. Fullback’s definitely where I want to be.’’
So is the finals. For now, the Dragons will have to wait.