Mortlock: Battered, but happy

Brumbies captain Stirling Mortlock, a week after missing out with concussion, now has to shake off another blow to the head after being tackled around the jaw by Lloyd Johansson of the Reds.

“At this stage my neck is still pretty sore and so is my jaw,” outside centre Mortlock told Australian Associated Press (AAP) on Monday.

Mortlock missed his side’s Round Two loss to the Blues after concussing himself against the Chiefs in the opening round of Super 14 2007. As a result, the Brumbies medical staff will no doubt be cautious with Canberra’s star player.

“I’m currently just assessing it with the doctor and what-not so we’re still obviously very cautious moving forward.

“It’s early days so we’ll just see how I go.”

The Brumbies have now gone 160 minutes without scoring a try, but their skipper is nevertheless upbeat about their current two out of three win record, especially their defeat of the highly rated Reds, who are resurgent under the guidance of Eddie Jones.

“A hallmark of the Brumbies over the years has been throwing the ball around and using the ball very well in attack and obviously we haven’t done that the last two weeks,” Mortlock said.

“When you’re facing a team that plays that style of footy you’ve got to break out from those shackles and really bust them away otherwise it’s always going to be a hard slog.

“I’m very, very happy with the way the team pulled through and stuck to going in their and grinding out a win.”

Meanwhile, the Brumbies’ winning result on Saturday is quickly being overshadowed by the controversial criticism of referee Matt Goddard, as well as his jibes aimed at George Gregan.

“Eddie likes to fire up a media frenzy and get things going to aid his team and he’s been doing that very well,” said Mortlock, who played for Australia and the Brumbies under Jones.

“It comes part and parcel with those sorts of games … some people actually like it because it’s inspiration to go out there and play well.”

365 Digital

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