Brumbies and Waratahs suffer injuries in pre-season hit-out
SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON: A pre-season win for the Brumbies over the Waratahs at Goulburn on Thursday has come at a cost for both sides, with numerous players walking away from the clash with injuries.
Fielding a near full-strength team, with Wallabies trio David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa the only players rested, the Brumbies survived a late comeback from their New South Wales rivals to secure 34-28 victory.
However, new recruit James Slipper and winger Lausii Taliauli succumbed to chest and knee injuries, respectively, with the duo departing the field inside the first 30 minutes.
Initial fears regarding the severity of the injuries were quickly quashed, head coach Dan McKellar told Fox Sports, and the pair could still line up for the Brumbies’ season-opener against the Rebels next Friday.
“From what I’ve been told Lausii is more like a corkie, so structurally it’s okay, which is a relief,” McKellar said.
The Waratahs – who fielded an understrength side that was missing key players such as Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps and Rob Simmons – also struggled with injuries themselves, with midfielder Lalakai Foketi coming off within 20 minutes due to a hamstring concern.
Head coach Daryl Gibson said he expects Foketi to be sidelined for at least three weeks, but any injury worries should be offset by the standout performances of the youngsters who took to the field at Simon Poidevin Oval.
“I was really proud of how [the younger players] stood up in the last period of the game,” Gibson said.
“Guys like Will Harrison at 10 really showed what he could so it’s a bright, promising future for us.”
McKellar was similarly pleased with his side’s showing, but was not impressed with how the Brumbies let the Waratahs back into the match inside the final half an hour.
“We lost our way a bit in the last 30 minutes… I was pleased with our maul, but like any trial there were good things and still plenty to work on,” he said.
#BRUvWAR Trial | HLTS
Tries – Swinton 2, Miller, Holloway
— NSW Waratahs (@NSWWaratahs) February 7, 2019
Taliauli, midfielders Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani, and front rowers Folau Fainga’a and Tom Ross all dotted down for the Brumbies, with captain Christian Leali’ifano and Wharenui Hawera kicking the goals.
As for the Waratahs, lock Jed Holloway and loose forwards Will Miller, Lachlan Swinton and Ned Hanigan were the try-scorers, with Harrison and Mack Mason scoring from the kicking tee.
The Brumbies kick-off their Super Rugby campaign against the Rebels in Canberra next Friday, while the Waratahs host the Hurricanes in what’s sure to be a cracking affair at Brookvale Oval in Sydney next week.
Tries: Taliauli, Simone, Fainga’a, Kuridrani, Ross
Cons: Leali’ifano 2, Hawera
Tries: Miller, Holloway, Swinton, Hanigan
Cons: Mason 2, Harrison 2
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Lausii Taliauli, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Robbie Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements – from: Josh Mann-Rea, Tom Ross, Vunipola Fifita, Blake Enever, Jahrome Brown, Matt Lucas, Wharenui Hawera, Chance Peni, Darcy Swain, Murray Douglas, Pete Samu, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Henry Speight, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Bayley Kuenzle.
Waratahs: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Curtis Rona, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Cameron Clark, 10 Mack Mason, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Will Miller (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Ryan McCauley, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Shambeckler Vui, 2 Andrew Tuala, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements – from: JP Sauni, Rory O’Connor, Chris Talakai, Le Roux Roets, Ned Hanigan, Pat Tafa, Jake Gordon, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Harrison, Richard Woolf, Will Harris, Cody Walker, Hugh Sinclair, Ben Donaldson.
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Amy Perrett, James Quinn
Fox Sports & RugbyPass
FULL TIME | Brumbies 34 – 28 ‘Tahs
— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) February 7, 2019
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