IT was not long ago that Kieren Moss wondered if he would even get paid, let alone reach the elite of British rugby league.
The skilful Australian full-back had barely been in the UK a few months last year before he became embroiled in Bradford Bulls’ latest financial meltdown.
Moss had been an instant hit for the former Super League champions, scoring 13 tries in just 16 games after joining on an 18-month deal from Parramatta Eels last June.
However, a winter of discontent loomed and, as troubled Bulls veered into another administration, he was left with a major decision to make when they were finally liquidated in January.
Moss could either stay and hope a reformed club would materialise or – as a free agent – try his luck elsewhere.
He joined Hull KR who went on to clinch the Championship leaders’ shield with some ease this term and today visit Super League Leigh Centurions looking for the scalp that could catapult them towards promotion.
Geoff Toovey’s Bradford, meanwhile, hit with a 12-point deduction but allowed to stay in the second-tier, last week suffered a defeat that did eventually resign them to relegation into League 1.
As Moss now eyes promotion at the other end, he admitted: “It’s pretty sad to watch that (relegation) happen. With the players Bradford had left and some of the ones they signed I still thought they might have had a chance of surviving but that’s how it turned out and unfortunately for them that 12 points deducted at the start of the year just killed them.
“It’s not good to see for such a big club like Bradford like that, especially with their fan base as well, and I’m sure a lot of their supporters will be upset by that.
“For me, it was still quite hard (leaving) as the main thing that brought me to Bradford was the head coach Rohan Smith.
“I got along with Rohan really well and he was still there after I left so it was hard to say goodbye to him as well as the boys as we had a pretty close-knit team.
“But in the end I just felt I had to look after myself and do what was best for me.”
Few could argue with the 24-year-old’s choice and now all he is concentrating on is getting KR back into the top-flight.
They started the Qualifiers with an unconvincing win over Halifax last Sunday, Moss scoring two tries in the 26-22 win.
On the subject of potential promotion, he admitted: “It’d be awesome. I came to England to play Super League. I don’t really want to be in the Championship much longer. I’m sure the fans just want to see us get back up there. It’s where we should be. It would be massive.
“This is a very professional club. The way it’s set up – and not to sound too arrogant – but it’s almost too good to be a Championship side; our strength and conditioning, all our coaching staff, are just Super League quality.”
There is significant work to be done, though, if that elevation is to be achieved. Certainly, Rovers need to be much improved on last week if they are to defeat Leigh, the side who replaced them in Super League this season.
Admittedly, their hosts have struggled in the top-flight but they are awash with talent and started their Qualifiers campaign by eventually easing past Featherstone Rovers.
Moss, whose former Bradford colleagues Lachlan Burr and James Clare are now at Leigh, said: “It’s going to be a hard game; any game in the Eights will be. “The first against Fax was and this will step it up again. It’s probably going to be a bit faster.
“They’re coming off a win as well and they’ll be wanting to keep that momentum so everyone else is going to have to step it up this week and be a bit more aggressive in ‘d’ especially.”
Rovers, of course, did win at Leigh in the Challenge Cup earlier in the year in a game Moss missed due to a problematic heel injury.
“That does give us a lot of confidence but these Eights are a whole new competition now and anything can happen,” he said.
“It was hard missing that last game against them, especially beating a Super League side like that, but I get a chance now.
“Effort was the difference then. The boys really stepped up, went to an extra level; they just worked hard for the whole 80 minutes.”