Super Rugby Round 2: Brumbies v Rebels
The Brumbies celebrate after scoring the first try of the match. Photo: Scott Barbour
The ACT Brumbies saved Jesse Mogg from the Super Rugby scrapheap and now the rangy fullback is paying them back for the faith shown in a club rugby player.
With Wallabies coach Robbie Deans in the crowd, Mogg was the Brumbies' saviour as they clinched a 30-13 victory over the Melbourne Rebels to start their season with back-to-back wins.
The Brumbies held their opposition scoreless in the second half for a second straight week.
It was also the second week in a row Mogg proved the difference and his first-half impact saved the Brumbies from being blown out of the contest before half-time.
The Brumbies are now preparing for a tough four-game stretch against the NSW Waratahs, the Durban Sharks, the Cape Town Stormers and the Pretoria Bulls.
Brumbies coach Jake White was pleased with his team's second-half ability to "bash" the Rebels, but he warned them not to get ahead of themselves.
"To get a bonus point is fantastic, but it's still early days for us," White said.
"We must not think we've won anything yet, but it's still very nice for us. We've got a bye now and the nice thing about that is that I think it comes at the right time.
"We've got four really hard games coming up and three of those four teams finished ahead of us … I was animated at half-time and I made them realise they needed to wake up.
"I just felt if we concentrated on what we were supposed to do, things would fall into place and we really bashed them in defence in the second half."
Mogg scored two tries against the Reds and his form carried into the second week of the season.
His superb individual try was his third five-pointer of the season and his speed and power set up Clyde Rathbone for the first try of his rugby comeback.
It's a massive turnaround from two years ago when Mogg contemplated giving rugby away and moving back to Brisbane after failing to win a contract in the capital.
But Jake White spotted him playing for Wests in the John I Dent Cup and has moulded him into one of Australia's most exciting players.
The 23-year-old was on the cusp of Wallabies selection last year when he was rewarded for a strong debut campaign with a spot in the Test squad.
Deans cut him after the first training camps. But if the first two weeks are setting the tone for Mogg's second season, he'll certainly be on the coach's radar.
Had it not been for Mogg, the Brumbies would have been fighting to stop a Rebels' onslaught early in the match.
Mogg and Rathbone's tries ensured the Brumbies trailed by just one point at the break, but a half-time rocket from White got the resurgent ACT back on track.
Captain Ben Mowen gave the Brumbies some breathing space before Robbie Coleman secured a bonus-point victory when he scored with five minutes remaining in the match.
They beat the Reds to begin their campaign and have a bye next week before taking on the NSW Waratahs at Canberra Stadium on March 9.
If they can start the season with a hat-trick of wins, it will set them up perfectly for a brutal two-game trip to South Africa.
"We knew what we had to do, it was just about switching the flick with our attitude," Mowen said.
"The Rebels gave us exactly what we expected and we weren't on early, but I was glad with the way we adjusted
"The bye is good timing if you've planned for it. We've planned for it and then we'll have a crack at the Tahs."