Queensland have immediately put Jesse Mogg in their crosshairs by declaring they’ll again target the dangerous Brumbies fullback in Friday night’s must-win Super Rugby clash.
It was Mogg’s 78th-minute clanger that sealed his side’s season-opening 27-17 loss at Canberra Stadium after the Reds had pressured him all night.
The livewire No.15 failed to catch a kick in his 22, then made a mess of it on the ground before Chris Feauai-Sautia swooped in to jag the match-clincher.
“We put him under a fair bit of pressure in the first game and I felt it paid dividends,” Reds coach Richard Graham said on Monday.
“He’s a guy that has enormous influence with his boot and his speed so we have to try and put pressure on him.”
Mogg has since bounced back to be among the Brumbies’ best, scoring five tries as they have risen to the top of the Australian conference. His big kicking game effectively puts the ACT side on the front foot.
Reds halfback Will Genia added his side would also look to pressure his Wallabies No.9 rival Nic White, who put two kick-offs out on the full the last time the two sides met.
“It’s no secret we will look to make sure we put pressure on them again because it worked in the first round,” Genia said.
“But we do understand that as the competition has gone on they have got better and they’re playing some good rugby.”
Mogg wasn’t surprised he and White would be targeted at Suncorp Stadium but felt they would be better equipped to handle the fast-rushing defence.
“The more practice you get, the better you get at dealing with the pressure,” he said.
“Obviously it was disappointing the way I finished that game in round one, but I’ve moved on from that now.”
White dismissed the comments, saying the Brumbies also had their eyes on Genia and partner-in-crime Quade Cooper.
“When coaches come out and say they’re going to put pressure on you, you take that as a compliment, for sure,” White said.
The Brumbies lineout has also attracted attention from Queensland with injuries to locks Sam Carter and Leon Power.
“That’s definitely an area we can target,” Graham said.
The Reds had hoped to have outside backs Lachie Turner (ankle) and Feauai-Sautia (hamstring) back from injury but may be tempted to play it safe with one or both as they have a bye to follow.
They will have winger Dom Shipperley (hip) and hooker Saia Fainga’a (shoulder) back.