Queensland will cross their fingers for good news as Jordan Petaia awaits scan results following his short-lived return to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
The emerging centre sent tongues wagging with his powerful display in New Zealand against the Highlanders last weekend but was felled on his first run in the Reds’ 22-12 loss to the Crusaders in Brisbane.
The 18-year-old’s lower leg was awkwardly squashed in a tackle, forcing him to limp off as the Reds battled hard to stay in touch with the back-to-back defending champions.
Coach Brad Thorn wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury, labelling it “possibly an ankle” despite it being labelled a foot sprain during the game.
If diagnosed as a Lisfranc fracture it would all but rule the Wallabies contender out of Japan’s World Cup in September.
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“We’ll find out when they get that checked up,” Thorn said. “He looked a bit ginger though; it wasn’t great losing him early.
“He’s a great young talent, a disappointing night for him.”
The Reds battled on without their young livewire, pushing the Crusaders in what was a record-extending 18th consecutive Super Rugby victory.
Fullback Bryce Hegarty, who played on despite popping a rib, was used often as first receiver to relieve the pressure on five-eighth Hamish Stewart.
Too often they gifted the Crusaders pressure-free possession though, Thorn admitting their kicking game remained a work in progress.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson praised the Reds’ toughness, saying there was a “new feel” about them.
“We’ll all probably answer that question better (how much have they improved) in about six weeks once they’ve got a few more games under their belts,” he said.
“They’ve got a tough start, got quite a tough draw.
“But some good signs, good energy and they worked hard.”
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