Reds, Huxley suffer savage blow - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reds, Huxley suffer savage blow

By Jim Morton 07/02/2004 11:09:24 PM Comments (0)

Queensland's Super 12 hopes were seriously bashed and bruised when it lost key playmaker Julian Huxley for possibly the season with a broken jaw.

Huxley will undergo surgery after sustaining two suspected fractures in both his right and left jawline in an 18th-minute tackle on Auckland Blues hardman Sam Tuitupou in the Reds' 21-8 trial loss at Ballymore.

The silky-skilled flyhalf immediately left the field, bleeding from the mouth, and never returned.

His loss is a savage blow to Queensland's hopes of a revival as coach Jeff Miller had invested plenty in Huxley's switch to No.10 and his backline partnership with captain Elton Flatley.

But Miller remained optimistic his playmaker would miss only a month's play.

"They're talking best-case scenario of four weeks - we've always got to look to the positive side," he said.

The Reds, who will now shift Flatley back to flyhalf and promote the benched Steve Kefu to No.12, also saw their skipper (head knock) and fellow World Cup Wallaby Nathan Sharpe (shoulder) leave the field through injury.

On the flip side, the Blues were relieved there was no World Cup hangover for Rupeni Caucaunibuca as he produced a typically blazing display in the three-tries-to-one victory.

Returning to the city where he made the rugby world gasp in awe last October, the Blues winger showed he had lost none of the speed, guile and aggression which has made him the premier attacker in the game.

The Reds surprisingly had held sway against a team containing six World Cup starters in a scoreless opening 20 minutes before Caucau lit up the match with two tries in six minutes.

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