McCabe, Pocock cleared of serious injury
March 2, 2014
Pat McCabe (l) and David Pocock both appear to have escaped long-term injuries © Getty Images
Brumbies duo Pat McCabe and David Pocock are a chance to play against the Hurricanes on Friday night despite suffering major injury scares over the weekend. McCabe was sent to hospital for scans on Saturday night after injuring his neck in the Brumbies' 27-14 win over the Western Force in Perth.
The Brumbies feared 25-year-old McCabe had suffered further damage to his troublesome neck which he broke during the Wallabies' Spring Tour of 2012 and re-injured against the British and Irish Lions last year. However, scans showed the injury was a muscular one, and he was able to join his teammates for a swim on Monday.
Brumbies' fans would have feared the worst when star flanker Pocock crumpled to the ground clutching at his reconstructed left knee late in the win over the Force. Pocock's knee made a sound at the time of the injury, but he has recovered well and does not believe he has suffered any major damage.
Both McCabe and Pocock will undergo more scans on Monday before a decision is made on their availability for the team's trip to New Zealand.
The Western Force were also given a dose of good news when Hugh McMeniman was cleared of any serious neck issues. McMeniman was taken from the field on a stretcher in the first half, but remains a chance to play against the Melbourne Rebels in Perth on Saturday night.
"There was a crack. But it appears he's going to be ok," Force coach Michael Foley said. "The pleasing thing is he didn't take a head knock."
The Brumbies ran in three tries inside the opening 23 minutes, but they could not land the four-try bonus point despite going close on several occasions. Nevertheless, rookie coach Stephen Larkham was happy with the comprehensive win following his side's first-up loss to the Reds.
The news isn't so good for the Force, who have conceded nine tries in back-to-back losses. Their next assignment is against the Rebels, who opened their campaign with an impressive 35-14 win over the Cheetahs.
Foley admitted the Force were made to pay for their sub-standard efforts under contact, while the team's poor clearance kicking in the first half also added unnecessary pressure. The Force were held scoreless for 77 minutes before adding two consolation tries at the death.
"We don't have any excuses for that. I certainly didn't expect us to execute poorly early and I didn't expect us to get beaten in contact the way we did," Foley said. "The way the guys responded in the second half was good. But the game was gone by then, just about."
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra