Wallabies winger Joe Tomane will miss next month’s three-Test series against France after breaking his cheekbone in the Brumbies’ 16-9 win over the Sharks.
The Brumbies have paid the price for their ugly top-of-the-table win over Jake White’s Sharks with Wallabies winger Joe Tomane’s Super Rugby season in tatters.
Tomane suffered a fractured cheekbone in the 16-9 victory at Canberra Stadium and will be sidelined for at least two months, ruling him out of Australia’s three-Test series against France next month.
The Brumbies hold hope the in-form flyer, who clashed heads with teammate Ben Alexander, could make his way back in time for the play-offs.
“It’s not displaced too badly,” Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told AAP.
“At this stage it doesn’t need surgery. But we’re not 100 per cent (sure).”
The silver lining for last year’s runners-up is the imminent return of dynamic winger Henry Speight to a back three which stood tall in Saturday night’s grinding affair which won no fans as a spectacle.
The competition’s top two teams produced a contest that more resembled a disorganised game of `force-em-backs’ as both left their rugby on the training paddock and resorted to endless kicking out of their halves.
There was a massive 93 kicks in general play and just one try – the result of two White-patterned teams religiously stick to their game plans.
“It was never going to be pretty,” the former Brumbies coach said. “I knew that. I know how the Brumbies play.
“I just can’t understand it. I thought they (the Brumbies) just played no rugby, they were boring,” he joked.
In a perfect irony, the Brumbies’ reward for winning was dropping to third on the overall standings as the defending champion Chiefs (35) moved to second with their bonus-point 32-20 win over the Blues.
Director of coaching Laurie Fisher defended their tactics on a wet night and praised big-kicking Jesse Mogg for being a rock at fullback.
“We could have run a lot of ball tonight, and we wouldn’t be sitting here victors,” Fisher said.
“It was only ever going to be about the result, not the aesthetics of the game given the nature of the two sides and the conditions.”
While the Brumbies (34) shored up their position on top of the Australian conference, the Western Force continued their remarkable revival with a 23-16 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
It equalled their 2008 mark for most wins in a season (seven) with six games to play and puts them fifth, just four points behind the Brumbies with a match in hand, leapfrogging the resting NSW Waratahs.
The Crusaders rumbled their way to fourth by punishing the ailing Queensland Reds 57-29 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday for their fifth straight win.
The Reds remain third last after their fifth straight defeat to be on their equal worst losing streak since their wooden-spoon season of 2007.
The Hurricanes (30) round out the top six following a 25-15 win over the Melbourne Rebels, while the Highlanders (30) stayed well in the hunt by holding out the fast-finishing Lions 23-22, and the Bulls beat the Stormers 28-12.