Rugby Union 3 years ago

Brumbies go down 37-24 to Crusaders

  • Brumbies go down 37-24 to Crusaders

The Brumbies are hopeful David Pocock will be fit to play in next week's Super Rugby quarter-final despite a knock to the head in their 37-24 loss to the Crusaders.

The Wallabies flanker - who scored the opening try - was taken off just before half-time of the final-round clash at GIO Stadium on Saturday and did not return after failing a concussion test.

"He's on a six-day return to play protocol, but he should be fine," said coach Stephen Larkham.

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"He can partake in training on the Wednesday, so I think he'll be alright."

Winger Henry Speight also injured himself in the brutal encounter, hurting his shoulder and requiring extra strapping to the ankle he rolled last weekend.

The defeat, in front of a season-high home crowd of 18,378, ensured the Waratahs finished as winners of the Australian conference.

The Canberra-based outfit couldn't withhold the might of their New Zealand rivals who ran in four tries to three.

A first-half double to giant winger Nemani Nadolo helped ensure the Crusaders sent off All Black legends Richie McCaw and Dan Carter winners in the last Super Rugby appearance.

Carter, who's joining French club Racing Metro after this year's World Cup, proved the difference - booting five penalties and a conversion.

"The Crusaders had a fantastic game tonight and I thought they were on fire," said Larkham.

"I think we matched it - apart from a couple of lucky tries and some poor discipline.

"There's a few things we can learn from the game, but I guess the beauty of it is we still get another crack this year."

All three of the Brumbies' tries came on the back of their trademark rolling maul - the last two bringing them to within three points of the Crusaders who had held a 21-10 lead at half-time.

Both sides were down to 14 men early in the second half, with Jesse Mogg and Simon Whitelock each sin-binned.

Captain Stephen Moore, in his 100th game for the franchise, said it was a tough contest but provided a good test before the finals.

"It'll make us look at our game closely and get ready for next week," he said.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said he was proud of his side to end the season - and Carter and McCaw's Super Rugby careers - on a high, despite missing the finals for the first time since 2001.

"This has probably been building the last three weeks," he said.

"We had a good game plan and a good strategy, led by Reado (captain Kieran Read).

"The boys really fronted today and I'm really proud of the effort."

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