Brumbies will target O'Connor

    2012-04-13 09:13
    Canberra - Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg says the rookie side has already smashed the rugby world's expectations this season and plans to do it again on Saturday  by breaking a two-match losing streak and maintaining their position at the top of the Australian conference.

    The  Brumbies side has come off second best in their last two starts against the Sharks and reigning champions the Reds, prompting many critics to say the young team had run out of steam.

    But with a plan to take Melbourne Rebels stars Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor out of the game on Saturday, Mogg said the Brumbies were confident of breaking the losing run and streaking ahead on the conference ladder.

    ''We've shocked a lot of people and are on top of the conference and everyone is just waiting for us to slip up now,'' said Mogg, who is quickly establishing himself as a future star.

    ''We beat everyone's expectations in winning our first few games and being a competitive side, and I think now everyone is waiting for us to slip back in the conference. But as far as we're concerned, we are going to keep on top of the conference. We're not letting that early success affect us.

    ''We are just trying to be competitive every week. We know we can play and score points. It's just a matter of keeping the ball in hand, minimising those mistakes that have crept in and playing the style of rugby we know we can play but have struggled with the last few weeks.

    ''We're aiming for a big game to get us back on track this week.''

    Mogg, an ex-Brisbane Broncos junior and cousin to former NRL flyer Adam Mogg, knows the danger league converts Beale and O'Connor pose to the Brumbies. He said coach Jake White had tailored a game plan to target the duo and rend the Rebels rudderless.

    ''He [Beale] and James O'Connor are definitely dangerous players and we've worked hard during the week to try and minimise their attacking options and take them out of their attack zone and get them on the back foot,'' Mogg said.

    ''If you can keep those two quiet, it's a long way to beating the Rebels. The Rebels look to those two in particular to make something happen and, if you take those two guys out of the game and minimise their impact, there's pretty much going to be two less players on the field.''

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