Wallabies win but Gregan, Roff injured - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies win but Gregan, Roff injured

By Glenn Cullen 03/07/2004 11:15:19 PM Comments (0)

The Wallabies have paid a high price for their 29-14 rugby win over the Pacific Islanders at Adelaide Oval with captain George Gregan and fullback Joe Roff going down with injuries.

Gregan will miss six weeks with a shoulder injury while Roff will know the full extent of a knee problem when he receives an MRI scan on Sunday after limping off late in the game.

But a more long term seat at rugby's most exclusive table may yet be achievable for the Pacific Islanders after the visitors acquitted themselves well in a brutal loss to the Wallabies.

The combined Fijian, Samoan and Tongan team - allotted three internationals by the International Rugby Board this year - battled bravely in their debut Test despite a soft pitch and mid-match showers which hardly helped their expansive game.

Coming off the back of a comprehensive 51-15 defeat of England in Brisbane last Saturday, the Wallabies again played with assurance, centres Matt Giteau and Stirling Mortlock leading the way with two tries apiece and Stephen Larkham dominant at five-eighth.

The Islanders started at full tilt, last Saturday's three-try hero Clyde Rathbone bearing much of their ferocity, hit heavily in the opening exchanges and eventually replaced in the 60th minute after a bone-jarring tackle by replacement Seru Rabeni.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones was upset with the Islanders' overtly physical play but wouldn't elaborate immediately after the match.

"If I said anything it would cost me $10,000," said a livid Jones.

"I've got about three blokes in there with head injuries."

Australia ground down the plucky visitors to take a 10-0 advantage into the halftime break thanks to tries to Mortlock and Giteau.

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