With the Super Rugby finals fast approaching, University of Canberra Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg believes Friday night’s clash against the Wellington Hurricanes is a ‘must win’ game for the ACT-based side.
The Brumbies returned to the capital on Sunday confident and relieved after sinking the Auckland Blues with a gutsy 20-13 win, to push five points clear at the top of the Australian conference.
But with only three games until the Super Rugby finals, the Brumbies will head into Friday’s tussle with the Hurricanes desperate to remain on the winner’s board.
A win will see the side remain ahead of the Queensland Reds on the Australian conference and with the team set to lose five players against the Melbourne Rebels next Friday night due to Wallaby selection; Mogg believes a win over the Hurricanes is a must.
“Friday night for us is a crucial game and if we don’t we win, we are really going to hurt our finals chances,” Mogg said.
“The Hurricanes are a really good team, they have had some really close losses and on their day they can be a real attacking threat and also a very good defensive team.
“They pose a big threat for us on Friday, but it’s a crucial game for us to continue our campaign to the finals.”
The Hurricanes have had an up and down 2013 and will arrive in Canberra desperate to keep their slim chance of a finals spot alive.
But while Mogg expects the Hurricanes will take to Canberra Stadium all guns blazing, he is confident that the Brumbies will take the effort and form they showed against the Blues into Friday’s game.
“We lost a bit of confidence there for a couple of weeks, so it was good to go over to Eden Park in those conditions and really work as a team,” Mogg said.
“It was really good to get a win which we haven’t had for a couple of weeks, but we now need to lift our intensity and lift our game to a new level and really give the finals run a massive ride.
“Every game for us now is important, the game against the Blues was just as important as the game on Friday night.”
One man, who also contributed to the win over the Blues, was fly-half Matt Toomua. ‘Pup’ continued his good run of form in the no 10 jumper with a classy display.
The playmaker controlled the side’s attack remarkably well in the wet conditions, helping the ACT break a five year hoodoo at Eden Park with a strong kicking and defensive game.
“It was a good win, we went over there wanting to play some footy and then the conditions determined how we had to play on the night and I thought we did that,” Toomua said.
“I said to someone on the weekend there is no good time to play in the wet, but Saturday was and it really helped us I think.
“I thought we adapted to the wet weather, our game plan wasn’t to kick but we had to adapt to the conditions and we did that really well.
“This weekend we want to win and need to win against the Hurricanes, so hopefully we can put in a good performance.”
The University of Canberra Brumbies face the Wellington Hurricanes this Friday night at Canberra Stadium with kick off at 7.40pm.