Maloney: Moylan has more X-factor than me
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Maloney: Moylan has more X-factor than me

Chad Townsend, in a rare moment of candour in the lead-up to an elimination final, claimed Matt Moylan had more ‘X-factor’ about him than the man he replaced, James Maloney.

The statement, made by a halfback well placed to do so having played with them both, was put to Maloney. Perhaps Townsend had poked the bear?

If Townsend was looking for an argument, he could look elsewhere.

Hostage swap: Matt Moylan and former Blues teammate James Maloney.

Hostage swap: Matt Moylan and former Blues teammate James Maloney.

Photo: NRL Imagery

“He’s probably right,” Maloney said of Townsend’s assessment.

“In terms of skills and that, there’s no doubt. We have different skill sets and there’s no doubt we’re different style of footballers.

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“Matty has a lot more flair and X-factor than what I do, but I’ve got some other skills in other areas.

“It’s horses for courses.”

It’s one of the great talking point this week. Debate will rage over which club got the better deal, right up until Penrith’s clash with Cronulla is decided late on Friday night. In moving to the foot of the mountains, Maloney got the long-term deal he craved and has guided his side deep into the finals. Ditto Moylan, who produced his best two performances of the season when coming up against his former club.

“It’s been good for me and no doubt Moyza is enjoying it there and it’s been good for him,” Maloney said.

“In terms of the swap, which everyone externally is talking about, I think both sides have got what they wanted.

“I don’t think it has to be that someone gets a better deal. Moyza has been a great player, he’s offered plenty to that side.

“They got what they wanted and as far as I know Penrith are pretty happy with what they’ve got. The way it has come about, everyone’s happy.”

Only one of them will be happy after Saturday night. Moylan has found a home in the Shire after falling out of Penrith and taking time out from last year’s finals series to focus on his wellbeing. Gallen said it was a “swap that had to happen for both players to play to their potential and do the right thing by the club”.

“You could tell he was distracted all year, Jimmy,” Gallen said of his 2017 season.

“Whether it be his contract situation, he was doing a lot of work in the CBA negotiations, that took away from his football a little bit. You don’t need me to tell you that, the proof was in the performances.

“He’s gone to Penrith this year and he’s been unbelievable. He’s led a young, impressionable side into the semi-finals, they’ve been in the top four all year.”

Moylan is happy not to add to the narrative.

"It’s going to get written about and spoken about enough," Moylan said.

"We’ve already played each other and it’s been a headline with us swapping clubs, but I’ve just got to concentrate on what I can do to help us get the win.

"I don’t really read [into the hype]. I’m just going into it like it’s another game. I just want to play footy. I’m really loving my time down here."

Few players have Maloney’s ability to help a club immediately improve upon arrival. He has been in four grand finals and won two premierships, a tally he could soon add to. The NSW pivot said his focus would be on steering his team around the park with Nathan Cleary, although he accepts he can't escape his own storyline.

“He will play well, he’s a very good player,” Maloney said of Moylan.

“We will have to keep an eye on him and make sure we limit his opportunities. Our boys will be up for it as well.

“You always went to get over your opposite number. If you can come out and outpoint your opposition number, the more blokes that do that the more likely you get the result."