Larkham injury hurts the Brumbies

Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher had to swallow a double dosage of disappointment at the weekend, after his team stumbled to another nailbiting (11-10) defeat, this time at the hands of the Hurricanes.

The Brumbies were clinging to a 10-6 lead with time officially up on the clock and the hooter having already sounded. But in a desperate, last-ditched attempt the Hurricanes took the ball through several phases before Thomas Waldrom stretched out his long arm to score the winning try in the right corner.

But even more heartbreaking for the Brumbies coach, Fisher, was the injury suffered by his ace fly-half Stephen Larkham just before half-time.

Larkham was caught under a pile of Hurricanes forwards close to the Brumbies’ line in the closing stages of the first half, and lay on his back clutching his chest.

He played on until the interval, but did not reappear for the second period.

“He’s got some damage to his sterno-clavicular joint, so it’s likely to be at this stage perhaps a two-week injury,” Fisher said.

The latest setback for the injury-prone Larkham is a massive blow to a Brumbies side desperately trying to find rhythm and must also be a concern for Wallabies coach John Connolly ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Fisher said his side also paid the price for not capitalising on opportunities earlier in the match.

“We’re pretty disappointed but our key focus now is to win 10 [competition] points in two games at home,” he said.

“It’s a tight comp and if we’d played better we would have had the opposition out of reach with a minute to go. If you make mistakes then you keep the opposition interested and you’ll win some and lose some. We’ve lost two, so we’ll have to learn our lesson eventually.”

Brumbies captain George Smith was equally disappointed with his team’s last-minute loss.

“Our team did defend pretty well throughout that game, so it’s pretty heart-breaking to lose [in the last minute],” Smith said. “This is the second time this has happened to us this year.

“The Blues beat us after the final siren as well and to come here and be beaten the same way in Wellington is pretty heartbreaking, but the boys will come back from it.

“We have got to work out a way to get over the line – and we will work hard on it during the week.”

The Brumbies take on the Bulls in their Week Five Super 14 match at Canberra Stadium next Saturday.

365 Digital

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