If practice really does make perfect, then University of Canberra Brumbies fans can expect a typical whole-hearted performance from their star hooker Stephen Moore this Saturday afternoon in his 100th Super Rugby appearance.
Now in his 10th season of Super Rugby after debuting for the Reds back in 2003, Moore has been handed his best ever chance of playing finals footy, with a win against the Blues guaranteeing the Brumbies a spot in the playoffs.
Reserved and insightful by nature, Moore has never been a player to go looking for praise or attention. The 69-time Wallaby has been cautious of over talking his personal achievement this week, preferring to keep the chat on the team and its chances of claiming Canberra a third Super Rugby title.
“I’ve always considered personal milestones occasions you look back at after you retire, they have the potential to take attention and focus away from the closest task at hand which is winning your next game,” Moore said.
“This weekend is a massive opportunity for us as a club to move into the finals and have a crack at some of those top teams.
“I’ve encouraged the younger guys in our squad to take these opportunities. In the last 10 years this has been my best chance at playing finals footy and it’s been good for them to realise how special and important a moment like this could be in their careers.”
Highlighting how difficult finals rugby is to come by, only two of the University of Canberra Brumbies current playing squad have featured in the play-offs. Ben Mowen (Waratahs) and Ian Prior (Reds) have one finals cap each.
In total, the University of Canberra Brumbies squad boasts 805 caps. Considering just two of those are finals matches, it’s not hard to understand Moore’s determination to make the play-offs and have a crack at the Super Rugby trophy.
Since moving to the University of Canberra Brumbies in 2009, Moore has come within three competition points (2009) and four points (2010) from making the playoffs. During his six years with the Reds, the Queenslanders didn’t finish higher than eighth making 2012 the most promising of his decorated career.
Brumbies fans are being encouraged to get to Canberra Stadium this Saturday to help celebrate Moore’s 100th and urge their side into the finals for the first time since 2004. The 3.30pm afternoon kick-off is family and winter friendly while the community rugby break this weekend means the only 15-man action will be at Canberra Stadium.
Saturday, 14 July
University of Canberra Brumbies v Blues
Canberra Stadium, Bruce
H/W: 186cm, 112kg
DOB: 20/01/1983, Khamis, Saudi Arabia
Senior Club: Easts, ACT
Super Rugby Caps: 99
Super Rugby Points: 35 (7t)
Super Rugby Debut: 2003 (Reds) v Bulls, Pretoria
Test Rugby Caps: 69
Test Rugby Points: 25 (5t)
Test Rugby Debut: 2005 v Samoa, Sydney