Jesse Mogg looks to strike Reds for second time
February 18, 2014
Greg Growden previews the Australian Super Rugby conference
Jesse Mogg hopes to strike Queensland Reds for the second time when the grudge rivals meet in Canberra on Saturday for their second consecutive Super Rugby season opener.
Mogg began his blitzing run towards a Wallabies jumper with a match-winning double against the Reds in the nation's capital last season, scoring his first try from a freakish kick-chase in which he burnt Test winger Digby Ioane and claiming his second with opportunistic 80th-minute intercept to secure 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."
Mogg became one of Australian rugby's next big things following his performance against the Reds, notching four tries in as many games before injuring his left shoulder. That injury hindered then ended the remainder of his breakout season.
Mogg made his Test debut against the British & Irish Lions in July and made two outings against the All Blacks before Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie sat him down for a frank one-on-one. The two decided that Mogg was best served missing the end-of-year tour of Europe to undergo shoulder surgery and rehabilitate to be fit for Super Rugby.
"The main things coming out of that conversation was that it was hampering my football," Mogg said of the injury. "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 now bigger, stronger and hungrier than ever, and he says of the suggestion Australia's No.15 jumper belongs safely on the back of Israel Folau that the Test season is "a long way away".
The top ESPNfootytips Super Rugby tipster at the end of the home and away season wins $A2000, with the runner-up claiming $A1000. We also have a pair of Gold Class movie tickets for each weekly winner.
Best of all you and a mate could be heading off to Game II of the Bledisloe Cup series between the Wallabies and the All Blacks in Auckland. The prize includes flight, accommodation, transfers and match tickets. Simply enter your tips WEEKLY to make another entry in the competition.
A preview of the 2014-15 Aviva Premiership season as we run the rule over Bath, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers and London Irish
Concussion specialist Dr Ryan Kohler warns of the dangers of pushy parents who want their kids back on the field ahead of time
ESPN looks at the forthcoming season of the Guinness PRO12 and assesses how each of the 12 teams will do
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes