The most sickening sight so far in the Super Rugby tournament was David Pocock on crutches last night at Canberra Stadium.
The champion flanker lasted just 13 minutes against the Waratahs before he was writhing in agony with a suspected ruptured ACL joint.
As scans confirmed today, that’s the Lions series and the rest of the tournament on the sideline. Anything up to nine months.
That’s a three-way tragedy for Pocock, the Brumbies, and the Wallabies.
Surely the litany of injuries last season (35 in total), isn’t going to be repeated in 2013?
Former skippers James Horwill, and Will Genia, still haven’t reappeared for the Reds this season after long-term injuries, Anthony Fainga’a has just resumed.
Berrick Barnes hasn’t reappeared for the Waratahs yet either.
Kurtley Beale has broken his hand and will be out for a month, and is carrying a shoulder injury that must be operated on at the end of the season, if not before.
Drew Mitchell is injury-prone, while Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, and Tatafu Polota-Nau have question marks hanging over them too.
If the carnage continues the Lions series will be devastated. The Wallabies must be at full strength to make it memorable.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has some high quality praying to do to stop the rot.
It’s early days in the Super Rugby, and the loss of Pocock for the Brumbies will be felt. Last night George Smith returned to the capital for the first time in three years and brought the house down, not only in applause on entry, but the way he played.
The champions never lose it.
Smith will offset the Pocock loss to a point, but coach Jake White would be a whole lot happier if he had both on them on deck.
The Reds won’t beat many good sides until Horwill and Genia are back in action and firing.
They are winning, but winning ugly, and that’s not the Ewen McKenzie way.
The Waratahs are a cot case. They are trying to follow coach Michael Cheika’s open rugby plans, but their trying isn’t leading to tries.
In fact that’s the question, where are the men-in-blue heading? The answer is buried in their own minds.
One things for sure, the Tahs will not win tough games without a quality nine and 10.
Brendan McKibbin and Bernard Foley aren’t up to it, and Cheika obviously has recognised the fact having already signed Test half Nick Phipps from the Rebels for next season.
Not that Phipps is a world-beater, but he’s number three to Genia, and the Brumbies Nick White.
The Waratahs should never have let Kurtley Beale go, now they are paying a high price for their folly.
But it’s the high price Australian rugby is paying today with the David Pocock injury.