Mitchell Moses hails influence of Lebanon’s cross-code coach Michael Cheika

LEBANON captain Mitchell Moses has hailed the influence of coach Michael Cheika after the Cedars were knocked out of the World Cup.

Lebanon were eliminated after their 48-4 quarter-final loss to Australia in Huddersfield on Friday night.

During the pool stages of the tournament the Cedars defeated Ireland and Jamaica and pushed New Zealand hard.

It was Cheika’s first major coaching role in Rugby League after coaching the Wallabies and clubs in Australia, France and Ireland in rugby union.

He also coaches the Argentina rugby union national team and only two days after bowing out of the World Cup he led the Pumas to a 30-29 victory over England at Twickenham.

“He was unbelievable,” Moses said.

“The way he can get you up for a game, I’ve never seen it before.

“You hear about all the stories about how he gets teams up for games and I witnessed it first-hand and loved working under him.”

Moses believes the Australian could one day coach an NRL side.

Cheika has already worked under Trent Robinson at the Sydney Roosters.

“I think he has a big future in the NRL if he wants a go at it. I think he could definitely coach a team one day if he sticks at it and if he wants to.

“I definitely got a lot out of that and I think if you speak to anyone in the camp, they will definitely agree with me.”

Cheika praised the leadership of Moses at the World Cup.

“He’s top shelf,” Cheika said.

“The quality of his game is outstanding, both defensively and attack-wise.

“He has the ability to see what is happening now and what is going to happen. To be able to see through the next phase or this is unfolding out the back and what is going to happen next.

“He is an excellent reader of the game and then the skill-set around his play and his kicking, passing and distribution and courage in defence.

“I don’t want to give him too much of a wrap but he’s got a very good package.

“He’s got the complete package and what he has added here with his leadership around the team has been outstanding.

“He’s kept everyone level-headed going into big contests. He’s given the right advice. He makes the right decisions and, more importantly, he’s able to come back from adversity.

“I think that is a really important trait in a player, so he’s got a big future. He’s only a young fella, so he will go a long way still.”