Matt Toomua’s June Test series chances could be in jeopardy, with the Brumbies inside back set for a long layoff.
Toomua missed Friday night’s match against the Bulls with a knee niggle and assistant coach Dan McKellar said pre-game that Toomua would be out for up to six weeks.
With the first Test against England in Brisbane just five weeks away, Toomua could face a race against time to feature for the Wallabies.
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said post-match that there was no timeframe on Toomua’s return but he would definitely miss next weekend’s crunch game against the Rebels.
“The time frame hasn’t been given to us yet but we do know next we won’t have him,” he said.
Larkham praised the players who stepped up on Friday night, particularly developing wingers Nigel Ah Wong and James Dargaville.
“James Dargaville had an opportunity on the wing tonight, played his first 80 minute game,” he said.
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“I think it was an outstanding performance from him, same with Nigel Ah Wong on the other wing
“The guys who are coming in – Robbie Coleman as well – the guys who are coming in for these injured guys are really stepping up and proving they deserve to get a shot.”
The Brumbies tended to avoid kicking for the corner early in the match, still scarred by some controversial decisions against the Highlanders, Larkham said.
“We’ve probably lost the balance there in the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“We’ve got a good maul but we’ve found if the ref doesn’t interpret the laws the way that we see them it makes it hard to score tries from your maul.
“I think Squeak (Stephen Moore) found some really good balance there tonight.
“Christian’s (Lealiifano) obviously a really great goal kicker so we’ve got to be able to find balance between kicking to the corner and just building the points and building a bit of a lead against the opposition.”
The Brumbies face a season-defining match against the Rebels next weekend, with the Aussie conference title at stake, and Moore said they were preparedfor the challenge.
“Every game is massive now, particularly before the June series,” he said.
“We’ve two games before that break and they’re both critical.
“[The Rebels] have played really well this year, they’re very well-organised side, clear about how they want to play, very strong physically.”