Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg is hoping to replicate last year’s match-winning performance against the Reds in their Super Rugby season opener.
Lightning quick fullback Jesse Mogg will look to strike the Queensland Reds twice when the grudge rivals meet this Saturday in Canberra for their second consecutive Super Rugby season opener.
It was one year ago almost to the day that Mogg began his blitzing run towards a Wallabies jumper with a match-winning double against the Reds in the nation’s capital.
His first try came from a freakish kick-chase where he burnt Test winger Digby Ioane, while the second was an opportunistic 80th-minute intercept to claim a four-try bonus point.
“I’m looking to get on the front foot again this year,” Mogg said.
“But the (Reds) are going to come down here hungry. They didn’t finish their season well last year on their terms.”
Following his performance against the Reds, Mogg became one of Australian rugby’s next big things, with the 24-year-old notching up four tries in as many games before injuring his left shoulder.
It would not only hinder the rest of his breakout season, but eventually end it.
Following a Test debut against the British and Irish Lions in July, plus two outings against the All Blacks, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie sat Mogg down for a frank one-on-one.
The two decided that instead of going on the Spring Tour, it would be best for Mogg to have surgery on his shoulder so that he could be fit in time for Super Rugby.
“The main things coming out of that conversation was that it was hampering my football,” Mogg said.
“It gave me a fair bit of grief throughout the season. But I’m not going to use it as an excuse – everyone has those niggling injuries.”
Mogg is back in 2014 bigger, stronger and hungrier than ever – and if his pace is lightning quick, then his booming left boot is the thunder that follows.
The Wallabies No.15 jumper might belong safely on the back of Israel Folau, but the Test season is “a long way away” as far as Mogg is concerned.
First, he’ll have to get the better of 2006 Queensland schoolboys teammate Aidan Toua, whose dynamic performances for the Reds should catapult him into their vacant fullback spot.
“He’s been marred by injuries for a while now, but he’s a great player and has been trialling well,” Mogg said.