Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg. Photo: Melissa AdamsACT Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg wants to use Tuesday’s blockbuster against the British and Irish Lions to prove he’s back in form and ready for the pressure of finals and Test rugby.
Mogg conceded he suffered a mid-season form slump this year, but claimed he had rediscovered the spark in his game.
The Brumbies will play the Lions at Canberra Stadium on Tuesday – the last warm-up match before the tourists’ three-Test series against the Wallabies.
The Brumbies will be understrength, but Mogg vowed to step up in his first match against an international opponent after being overlooked for the Wallabies squad.
”The pressure in this game is going to be like finals and Test matches,” Mogg said. ”If I can use this experience on Tuesday night and take that into the finals, I won’t get such a shock in the play-offs.
”It’s well noted that I lost my form … but I think I’m getting better and better and I feel like I’m close to where I was at the start of the year. Hopefully I’m firing for the first week of the finals.”
Mogg said he struggled to deal with the increased scrutiny on his game as opposition teams targeted him.
”The hardest thing is starting the year so well, the expectation is to do that well every game,” Mogg said.
”But teams learn who you are and how you play. It shows what type of player you have to be to find new areas you can attack or do different things to get your team on the front foot.”
Brumbies coach Jake White will name his team for the Lions match on Sunday.
Versatile forward Peter Kimlin will captain the Brumbies after being released from the Wallabies camp.
Brumbies fly half Matt Toomua is also finding his best form at the right time. At the start of the year he thought White wanted him to play as a defensive playmaker. Now the 23-year-old wants to be more dynamic in attack.
”It’s just about noticing opportunities and knowing my role, early in the year I probably felt my role was different,” Toomua said. ”At times I felt like a ninth forward, but now it’s a balance. Being tough in defence and creating opportunities for myself and others in attack.
”We know the history of the Lions and how close the Brumbies came to beating them in 2001. We’re so excited for it … we’re not going to hold back, we won’t be in awe of them.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.