Mortlock injured as Brumbies beat Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortlock injured as Brumbies beat Reds

By Darren Walton 29/04/2006 10:25:52 PM Comments (0)

The Brumbies retained the Rod Macqueen Cup and strengthened their position in the Super 14 top four with an emphatic 36-0 victory over Queensland at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

But the win may prove costly with skipper Stirling Mortlock and five-eighth Gene Fairbanks replaced at halftime after aggravating existing injuries, with both possibly facing time on the sidelines in the crucial run-in to the finals.

Mortlock cut a dejected figure after taking a heavy hit on his shoulder late in the first half.

He feared the injury may have been slightly worse than when he initially suffered it two weeks ago against the NSW Waratahs.

"I think I jinxed myself," Mortlock said.

"Last week I had a pad on (to protect my shoulder) that really stood out and I didn't wear it tonight and I got a knock on it and it felt pretty hard.

"I'd say it's a grade one AC joint (injury) similar to last time ... at the moment, it's quite painful so it's a bit upsetting really."

Fairbanks suffered a recurrence of a knee injury that has dogged him for much of the season, without forcing him to miss any games.

"I'd say it's probably a grade one medial," Fairbanks said.

Star centre Matt Giteau, who was making his comeback from his own knee injury tonight, also finished the game limping, but with the rest of the Brumbies midfield already off the field he was forced to soldier on.

The injury woes were the last thing the Brumbies needed given Stephen Larkham is still nursing a hamstring strain that is expected to sideline the champion flyhalf until at least the first week of the finals, should his team progress that far.

The Brumbies, who remain fourth after the third-placed Hurricanes beat the Chiefs 35-10 in Wellington earlier tonight, host the Highlanders next week before facing a daunting visit to Christchurch to tackle the defending champion Crusaders in the last round.

Coach Laurie Fisher was delighted with his team's second-half composure against the Reds given all the changes, and was thankful that Mortlock, Fairbanks and Giteau had managed to score four tries between them to help the Brumbies to a vital bonus-point win.

"We held our defensive structure and it was a bit of make-do attack-wise, but the guys worked hard for the second 40 which was a good result for us," Fisher said.

"The most important thing was firstly to get the win and then the bonus point. It's pretty competitive behind us so we've by no means sewn up a finals berth. We need to keep winning."

Queensland suffered a blow just before the match when in-form centre Julian Huxley was forced out with a leg injury, but coach Jeff Miller said the Reds had far bigger problems tonight.

"We had a game plan that we couldn't execute because we couldn't get enough set-piece ball," Miller lamented.

Fairbanks crossed first for the Brumbies after 22 minutes before Mortlock posted his first-half double, as well as slotting two conversions and a penalty goal, to give the home side a commanding 22-0 lead at the break.

Giteau put the issue beyond doubt with his five-pointer nine minutes into the second half and Patrick Phibbs touched down late after replacing halfback George Gregan, who was given a well-earned rest after delivering the last pass for three of the Brumbies' tries.

Mortlock's 17-point haul took him past the 800-point barrier in Super rugby.

The 28-year-old now has 809 in total, with Andrew Mehrtens (990), Matt Burke (959) and Tony Brown (887) the only other players to have achieved the milestone.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news