Brumbies are aiming to kick their goalscoring jitters
Christian Lealiifano. Photo: Getty Images
The ACT Brumbies are confident they can shake the kicking jitters after missed shots almost cost them victory in round one and Jake White admitted a last-minute coaching session affected his sharpshooters.
The Brumbies got their Super Rugby campaign off to a promising start by beating the Queensland Reds by 18 points on Saturday night.
And they are hopeful of a getting another boost on Monday if an ultrasound clears winger Henry Speight of a serious rib injury.
Nic White. Photo: Getty Images
The team's attention switches to taking on the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday night with accuracy in front of goal the area it can improve on most.
Five missed penalties and a wayward conversion attempt could have jeopardised the Brumbies' chances of beating the Reds in the opening round.
White called in kicking guru Damien Hill to join the squad on game day and warm up the kickers at Canberra Stadium less than an hour before the season started.
Jesse Mogg. Photo: Jay Cronan
It was the first time Hill had been with the Brumbies on a match day and White conceded ''it was too much info'' for his kickers.
Christian Lealiifano, Nic White, Jesse Mogg and Ian Prior all had chances to step up and take a shot.
Mogg - who scored two tries and nailed two crucial penalties - said the missed shots against the Reds would not haunt the Brumbies in Melbourne.
Mogg said the kicking duties would be handed back to Lealiifano to start the clash with the Rebels.
''We've got a pretty confident group of kickers and [Lealiifano] has kicked well in the trials so I guess it was just an off night,'' he said.
''We're all confident with the tee, but you don't want to be leaving points out there through missed penalties because they're crucial in a tight game.
''Hilly was there just to remind us of our process and personally I don't think he had anything to do with the missed goals and it helps having him there.''
Mogg started at fullback and scored the Brumbies' opening try of the season before finishing the game on the wing and snatching an intercept for the only another five-pointer of the match.
Mogg has made a remarkable transformation over the past 18 months. White plucked him from Wests in the club rugby ranks and has developed him to the point where he is now on the cusp of Wallabies selection.
The 23-year-old's challenge against the Rebels is lining up against Wallaby James O'Connor and producing another star performance.
''Every coach tries to find those sorts of players and I remember the story of finding Jesse,'' White said.
''I'm just glad I saw him and managed to keep him in Canberra. He's developed as a player … he's got bigger, stronger and a year older.''
Speight was the only injury concern for the Brumbies after the win over the Reds.
The Fijian flyer was taken to hospital on Saturday night after the game, but scans cleared him of any damage and he will have more tests on Monday before being given the all-clear.
FRIDAY: Super Rugby Round 2: Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, 7.40pm. TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 2.