David Pocock (right) is helped from the field with his replacement George Smith on the left
The Brumbies hammered the Waratahs with four tries to nil in front of 20,027 fans at Canberra Stadium as they remained unbeaten after three matches to start the 2013 season.
However, that pleasing form has been dampened with the injury to Pocock who was the Brumbies’ star signing in the off-season as the Wallabies flanker decided to make the move to Canberra after building his ever-growing reputation in Perth with the Western Force.
Pocock was playing his 72nd Super Rugby match, but just his third with the Brumbies and went down in the 13th minute against the Waratahs with his knee injury and it is believed he suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.
That looks set to not only rule the 24-year-old veteran of 46 Tests for Australia out of the rest of the Super Rugby campaign with the Brumbies, but also potentially the three-match series with the British and Irish Lions, and the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.
Perhaps the only encouraging news from the Pocock injury is the fact that the Brumbies have just welcomed back another past Wallabies flanker of great repute, George Smith.
Smith starred on the field when he came on to replace Pocock as he revelled in taking part in Super Rugby action once again after playing in Japan in recent years since leaving Australia.
So while Pocock’s absence was covered well on Saturday night against the Waratahs, making up for his absence for the rest of the campaign is going to be a huge task for Smith and Brumbies coach Jake White.
“He is going for a scan and these sorts of players that play at this level understand when their body tells them something and he just feels it’s not 100 per cent,” White said of Pocock.
“It shows you how fate plays out and it’s just fantastic how things have worked out now that George has arrived.”
However, outside of Pocock’s injury it was a terrific night for the Brumbies as once again they did not concede a point in the second half as was the case in their earlier wins over the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels.
Fullback Jesse Mogg was the standout for the home side as he continued to put himself in the frame for a Wallabies debut.
Christian Lealiifano got the home team off to a great start, nailing three early penalty shots and scoring a first half try to put the home side comfortably up at 21-6 at the break.
The Waratahs looked more promising early in the second half but failed to capitalise on numerous opportunities, before Brumbies winger Henry Speight crossed to put any hopes of a comeback to bed.
Mogg then set up replacement Robbie Coleman for a length of the field five-pointer in what will be a contender for try of the year and delivered the Brumbies a four try bonus point win.
In Saturday’s earlier Super Rugby game, the Cheetahs scored a rare win in New Zealand beating the Highlanders 36-19 in Invercargill.
Two tries to halfback Sarel Pretorius and another to flyhalf Robert Ebersohn, plus all three conversions and five penalties to Johan Goosen was enough for the Cheetahs to record their first win of the 2013 season.
It was a disappointing loss for the Highlanders despite a brilliant three-try performance from winger Kade Poki.
Two games in South Africa then closed out the fourth round action with the Stormers beating the Chiefs 36-34 and the Sharks downing the Southern Kings 21-12.
The Stormers recorded their first win of the season over last year’s champions at Newlands. Gio Aplon scored two tries for the Stormers and Nic Groom one with Joe Pietersen terrific with the boot kicking three conversions and five penalties.
Charlie Ngatai scored two tries for the Chiefs with Andrew Horrell and Tim Nanai-Williams adding one each.
Then the Sharks prevailed 21-12 over the competition’s new boys at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Patrick Lambie scored all of the Sharks’ 21 points with six penalty conversions and a drop goal. Demetri Catrakilis nailed four penalties to make up the Kings’ 12 points.
The weekend’s results so far leave the Brumbies and Sharks as the only two unbeaten sides in the competition to have played three matches with the Chiefs still atop the New Zealand conference having won two games from three matches.
The Reds have also started strongly with three wins from four games. The Western Force and Highlanders remain the only winless teams.
The Blues and Bulls are still to playoff on Sunday in Auckland with both unbeaten from two matches.