ADAM Mogg knows a thing or two about rescue missions. Spool back to 2006 and the Queensland Origin team were forced to embark on a desperate search for backline options after injury wiped out star centre Greg Inglis.
In his first series as Maroons coach, Mal Meninga issued an SOS for the uncapped Mogg.
The unforgettable Sydney headlines arrogantly questioned: Adam who?
His response? Two tries on debut. And then, remarkably, a third try in his second game when he flew high off a Johnathan Thurston kick to help the Maroons secure their jailbreak 16-14 series win in Melbourne.
An unheralded performer for so long during his respectable 105-game NRL career, Mogg suddenly became Queensland’s accidental hero.
Now Mogg has again been called on to play a Mr Fixit role, this time as coach of a Redcliffe club desperate to reclaim powerhouse status after too many years of mediocrity in the Intrust Super Cup.
Initially, the restoration job had been handed to Anthony Griffin.
But when the former Broncos coach was poached by NRL side Penrith in October, the Dolphins turned to a man who has red-and-white premiership success in his blood.
“As far as coaching opportunities go, I love south-east Queensland and coaching Redcliffe is a really good opportunity,” said Mogg, the ex-Redcliffe flyer who won the 2001 Peter Leis Medal.
“Redcliffe is right at home for me – I’m excited about the future.
“I really enjoy the challenge of coaching in terms of improving people on and off the field. Living in south-east Queensland where I’ve grown up, it’s one of the best places in the world so ideally I’d like to stay here.
“I’m really happy in Queensland and have no plans to leave, so from an NRL coaching perspective, I guess there’s only the Broncos and Titans to aim for.
“But at the moment, I’m happy at Redcliffe.”
The Dolphins, backed by the wealthy Redcliffe Leagues Club, are not accustomed to failure.
In 2014, the traditional heavyweights slumped to third-last and they only improved marginally last season, finishing seventh – seven competition points adrift of the top six.
If anyone can appreciate Redcliffe’s history of dominance, it is Mogg.
He scored 52 tries in 106 first-grade games for the Dolphins, helping the club to titles in 1997 and 2000 before launching his NRL career with Parramatta in 2002.
The 38-year-old Mogg is not promising instant miracles, but says making the playoffs is a non-negotiable target in 2016.
“My expectations are pretty clear on where we sit as a club,” he said.
“We have underachieved for some years now and we need to be at the other end of the Intrust Super Cup.
“The finals is the absolute bare minimum for me, we have the playing group if we stay fit and healthy to be in the playoffs.
“That’s my expectation. I don’t want to say we are in a rebuilding stage because we already have a good roster. I have high expectations of this playing group.
“I’ve only been at the club a short time, but I like the look of our roster. We have Luke Capewell, Aaron Whitchurch and Zac Strasser so we have enough talent to be competitive, there’s no excuses there.”
Mogg was an assistant to Warriors coach Andrew McFadden last season and was offered a two-year extension to remain in Auckland.
But the former Maroons winger couldn’t resist the lure of a head-coaching role at Redcliffe.
“When I played, I always took a keen interest in coaching,” said Mogg, who had stints with Parramatta, Canberra and Catalans Dragons in France before starting his coaching career at Sunshine Coast in 2011.
“I was never the best player so I always had to work hard to get the best out of myself. My attitude was about doing my best and helping my teammates out.
“When I went to France, Mick Potter (ex-Catalans coach) gave me a free rein to help out the French players and that’s where I really enjoyed improving people and see it come to fruition on the field.
“Coaching doesn’t always make commercial sense, but I like improving people.
“My coaching philosophy is things must be very clear. How we play must be clear, how we defend must be clear. The players have flexibility in and around that.
“To achieve in anything, you need expectations and clarity in your role. That’s my approach to coaching.”
Mogg played just two games for Queensland but will never forget his role in the creation of Meninga’s remarkable Maroons dynasty.
“It’s gone so quickly,” he said. “Every year an Origin series comes around and I hope they tick off another series win.
“It was a childhood dream to play Origin for Queensland. I got to play with guys I looked up to like Darren Lockyer (former Maroons five-eighth).
“Locky and Petero (Civoniceva, Maroons front-row legend) wrote in their books how intense the 2006 series was. We trained really hard and I got something out of that, I learned that working hard collectively can deliver results.
“On paper, if you looked at the two teams, we shouldn’t have won. But we worked hard for each other and under the good management of Mal, that’s what kick-started it all.”