When Brumbies inside centre Pat McCabe was in hospital last week receiving scans on a neck he'd already broken twice in the last 16 months, he feared his rugby career was over.

Instead, the Wallabies hardman recovered from what turned out to be a muscle strain to put on one of his best ever Super Rugby performances in the Brumbies' 29-21 victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.

The courageous No.12 ran more than 120 metres in attack, made half a dozen tackle busts, punched through for two huge line-breaks, and had a hand in a number of his side's four tries.

"He got a lot of confidence out of the fact that he put his head and upper body through all those contacts," Larkham said of McCabe, who also received a big head knock in the trial against the Highlanders a month ago.

"He played really well, and he's really put his hand up at the moment as one of our standout players."

Unfortunately scans didn't turn out as good for McCabe's Wallabies teammate David Pocock during the week - with the star flanker to miss the rest of the season after a second knee reconstruction in as many years.

While the Brumbies say the sparkling four-try performance they put on was to give Pocock something to be cheerful about, Larkham also took time to also praise the performance of new No.7 Jarrad Butler.

"He had an outstanding game, and you'd imagine he'd be there (again next week)," Larkham said.

That's good news for the Brumbies, who will look to head into next Saturday's huge derby against the NSW Waratahs with an unchanged line-up so as not to disrupt their building momentum - and possibly leap to the top of the Australian conference.

"It's one of the biggest weeks, if not the biggest week in the calendar for us," Larkham said.

"We've been a very passionate team about these games against the Waratahs.

"We're talking about decades and decades of rivalry between ACT and NSW."

The Brumbies will be sweating over the fitness of their flyhalf and Wallabies back Matt Toomua however, who came off in the second half with a shoulder problem.