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".
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