McKenzie backs ‘balanced’ Mogg

Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:39
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Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie isn’t reading too much into Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg’s error-strewn performance in the Super Rugby Final.

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie isn’t reading too much into Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg’s error-strewn performance in the Super Rugby Final.

Mogg made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes in the final quarter of Saturday’s decider against the Chiefs in Hamilton, which brought his big match temperament into question.

McKenzie, however, said the 24-year-old’s underwhelming effort won’t hurt his chances of a place in the Wallaby team for the first Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney next Saturday.

''I'm not the sort of guy who gets interested in a player with a one-off performance,'' said McKenzie.

''I never judge someone on one error or one mistake. It's really performance over time.

''So the guys who are coming in from the Brumbies are the ones who have been doing particularly well consistently.

''I judge people on their potential. Every rugby player I know or have been involved with makes mistakes, so it's more about the positives they bring.

''I think he's got a really good balance to his game. There's a lot of upside to what he can do.''

Mogg, who made his Test debut off the bench in the final game of the British and Irish Lions series, vowed to learn from his mistakes.

"It's obviously disappointing to get your team on the back foot there in those final minutes," Mogg told AAP.

"But I guess you learn from your mistakes and it's an experience I'll obviously remember.

"I'll try and move on and just look to improve as a player."

Mogg admitted to being surprised by his rapid rise to Test rugby, having only made his professional Rugby Union debut for the Brumbies in last year’s Super Rugby opener against the Western Force.  

"It's definitely come quickly," Mogg said.

"I wanted to work towards trying to make the spring tour with the Wallabies at the end of the year as a goal of mine and just keep learning at a Super Rugby level.

"It's definitely a fast track to where my expectations were or where I wanted to go, but I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Mogg was a key figure in the Brumbies’ territory-based gameplan with his booming left boot this year. His tactical nous was on full display in the semifinal win over the Bulls in Pretoria, where his kicks out of hand proved particularly potent at altitude.    

"I've always quite enjoyed kicking the ball, I played AFL as a younger guy and enjoyed kicking it as far as possible," Mogg said of his tactical-kicking ability.

"Last year I had quite a good powerful kick, but didn't really know how to use it, where this year I learnt a lot in the pre-season and it showed on the field.

"My kicking from last year compared to this year is definitely a lot better.

"There's still a lot of improvement in it and it's something that I'll always work on."

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