Fielding a near full-strength team, with Wallabies trio David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa the only players rested, the Brumbies survived a late comeback from their New South Wales rivals to secure 34-28 victory.
Initial fears regarding the severity of the injuries were quickly quashed, head coach Dan McKellar told Fox Sports, and the pair could still line up for the Brumbies’ season-opener against the Rebels next Friday.
“From what I’ve been told Lausii is more like a corkie, so structurally it’s okay, which is a relief,” McKellar said.
The Waratahs – who fielded an understrength side that was missing key players such as Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps and Rob Simmons – also struggled with injuries themselves, with midfielder Lalakai Foketi coming off within 20 minutes due to a hamstring concern.
Head coach Daryl Gibson said he expects Foketi to be sidelined for at least three weeks, but any injury worries should be offset by the standout performances of the youngsters who took to the field at Simon Poidevin Oval.
“I was really proud of how (the younger players) stood up in the last period of the game,” Gibson said.
“Guys like Will Harrison at 10 really showed what he could so it’s a bright, promising future for us.”
McKellar was similarly pleased with his side’s showing, but was not impressed with how the Brumbies let the Waratahs back into the match inside the final half an hour.
“We lost our way a bit in the last 30 minutes… I was pleased with our maul, but like any trial there were good things and still plenty to work on,” he said.
Taliauli, midfielders Irae Simone and Tevita Kuridrani, and front rowers Folau Fainga’a and Tom Ross all dotted down for the Brumbies, with captain Christian Leali’ifano and Wharenui Hawera kicking the goals.
The Brumbies kick-off their Super Rugby campaign against the Rebels in Canberra next Friday, while the Waratahs host the Hurricanes in what’s sure to be a cracking affair at Brookvale Oval in Sydney next week.
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