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Waratahs' win tempered by loss of Dave Dennis as Brumbies' season staggers

The Waratahs celebrate a try by Bernard Foley Click for more photos

Super Rugby: Waratahs v Brumbies

The Waratahs take on the UC Brumbies at ANZ Stadium Photo: Mark Nolan

It is a tale of injuries that will have huge effects for Australia's two Super Rugby contenders.

But while the injury-hit ACT Brumbies struggle to get troops on the field, the NSW Waratahs will use skipper Dave Dennis' heartbreaking knee injury as inspiration for their title bid.

Dennis fell to the ground in agony just minutes before half-time with a suspected torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Waratahs' 39-8 win against the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

The five-tries-to-one romp was partly soured by the pain on Dennis' face as he stares at the prospect of a third, and potentially career-threatening, knee reconstruction.

Dennis had back-to-back knee reconstructions in 2007 and 2008. But the latest setback could be the breaking point for his career. He has a year left on his contract, but it will take almost that long for him to recover from another knee reconstruction.

The Waratahs play the Otago Highlanders at Allianz Stadium on Sunday and Queensland Reds in the last game of the regular season. Two wins will guarantee a top-two finish, a financial boost, a home final and a chance to win the title.

"It's horrible, 'Denno' has been our leader, you never like to see that and we put it out there for Denno in the second half," stand-in NSW captain Michael Hooper said.

"We're very proud to go the 80 minutes and keep putting points on. It's a feature that has come into our game this year and something we need to keep if we want to go into the finals."

What a difference a couple of months make. When the Waratahs lost to the Brumbies in Canberra, their critics came out and the headlines were about a broken glass door in the NSW coaches box.

But Michael Cheika's men are perfectly positioned to aim for the club's first championship.

On the other side, the Brumbies were hit with early injury woes in the match when Tevita Kuridrani was knocked out in the first 10 minutes, Henry Speight was left dazed in the opening moments of the second half and Jesse Mogg was left limping after an aerial battle with Israel Folau.

The trio of injuries added to an already disastrous casualty ward in Canberra, which includes Matt Toomua, David Pocock, Stephen Moore, Sam Carter, Joseph Tomane, Pat McCabe and Andrew Smith.

The Brumbies are clinging to a finals berth, but captain Ben Mowen lauded his team's defiance, adding that the club can expect up to eight players back on the field for their next game, against the Western Force.

"It was very tough, in the end the scoreboard doesn't reflect a tough game," Mowen said. "But we're honestly proud. There were moments of championship footy in there, but it wasn't consistent enough. We've just got to win against the Force and whatever happens, happens."

The Waratahs had 14 Test players in their starting XV, while the Brumbies had six Wallabies out of action with injury.

The Brumbies need to win their last game of the regular season against the Western Force on July 11 to be any chance to making the play-offs in successive years for the first time in a decade.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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