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Petaia on P-plates ready for a Mogg-ing in Wallabies fullback showdown


The Jordan Petaia v Jesse Mogg duel is simply the type of time journey comparability all of us must get the correct deal with on the Wallabies’ fullback debate.

This match-up within the large Queensland Reds-ACT Brumbies conflict at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday evening would possibly simply be probably the most instructive 80 minutes on the place the Petaia experiment sits.

Urrgh? How may that be? Don’t you imply the dynamic new fullback toy in Australian rugby towards the craggy, 32-year-old within the twilight of his profession?

That’s precisely why it is going to be such an excellent information.

We’re going to get a comparability between a participant who is aware of each nuance of the sport at fullback towards a teen who continues to be only a terrific footballer enjoying with No.15 on his again.

Mogg has been drilling low left-footed contact finders, scoring chip-and-chase tries, feeding his helps with deft passes and taking excessive balls since Petaia was in brief pants at college.

He’s a man who might be in place nearly each time.

Mogg has been at this caper for a strong decade since he first performed for the Brumbies in 2012. His Wallabies profession had a quick three-Take a look at run in 2013 towards the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks earlier than shoulder surgical procedure derailed him.

Many wouldn’t have stored monitor of his profession in France however an prolonged stretch of tries for Montpellier (2015-18) and Pau (2018-21) within the High 14 are high-quality credentials.

Saturday evening may be very a lot a comparability between a 2022 fullback of the brand new age towards a 2012 Mogg, with a decade of expertise topping up his tank.

Jesse Mogg throughout his stint with Pau. (Iroz Gaizka/AFP through Getty Photographs)

Judging all the pieces Petaia does brilliantly at fullback is just not the best way you’re employed out if he’s a Take a look at fullback.

In his few video games there for the Reds, he has by no means needed to punch three 35m clearing kicks in a row to get his gamers out of strain from their very own quarter.

He’s caught some excessive kicks effectively, as he does, however by no means three in succession with a wave of white English jerseys assembly him on the identical time.

He’s by no means needed to be metre-perfect together with his positioning to intercept a kick from an All Black trying to find inexperienced grass within the again area.

What he has completed is present some nice particular person expertise. He has already produced two of the most effective try-saving tackles of the season in cowl defence. That magnificence on Waratahs winger Mark Nawaqanitawase final weekend when the Reds have been right down to 13 males was a possible game-saver. It was identical to his magnificence on Fijian Drua attacker Onisi Rotave.

Towards the Waratahs, he hared again to retrieve a harmful kick, ran it throughout area in his quarter and boomed a kick 50m-plus downfield. That was class.

His skip of velocity and alter of tempo down the touchline when fullback for the primary time towards the Fijian Drua produced an aesthetic attempt.

Should you sew all of the snapshots of talent collectively, Petaia seems to be like that large, strapping 100kg-plus again that the Wallabies would love within the again three.

It’s the routine moments in between these highlights that he has to do higher as a result of they don’t but come naturally like they do for a profession fullback like Mogg.

Australian rugby has a terrific custom of being bewitched by shiny, new issues and believing a participant might be switched in place for an on the spot return.

It’s not often that simple.

We’ve had locks moved to the backrow, openside flankers moved to No.8, props switched to hooker, wingers and fullbacks switching. It at all times takes longer than you need it.

Petaia received’t be near being the completed article as a fullback by the point the Wallabies face England in July. Wallabies coach Dave Rennie would nonetheless must throw him in at No.15 if he’s critical about him enjoying that place at subsequent yr’s Rugby World Cup.

Rennie at all times has Tom Banks when he returns from harm as a result of he has been in kind and as quick as ever for the Brumbies.

For now, let’s all soak up how an skilled fullback like Mogg performs the sport at fullback and the way a high-quality footballer like Petaia applies his expertise to the P-plate part of his schooling in that place.

The “Vote Jordan Petaia for Fullback” factor is like a kind of Federal election guarantees…simply how a lot substance to it’s there?

In contrast to something to do with the upcoming election, it is going to be enjoyable discovering out.

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