Rugby Union

Waratahs prop Benn Robinson in 'serious doubt' for Brumbies clash, Kurtley Beale cleared of concussion

Benn Robinson is in "serious doubt" for the Waratahs' upcoming clash against the Brumbies, while Kurtley Beale has been cleared of concussion symptoms.

Super Rugby: Waratahs crush Reds

The NSW Waratahs defeated the Queensland Reds 30-10 in their Super Rugby encounter at Allianz Stadium.

Beale copped a knock in the second half against the Reds after a stirring performance at No.10.

He was brought from the field to be assessed by medical staff, but according to coach Daryl Gibson, Beale will train with the team as per normal on Monday.

Fine to play the Brumbies: Waratahs star Kurtley Beale.
Fine to play the Brumbies: Waratahs star Kurtley Beale. Photo: Getty Images

For Robinson, his concussion symptoms have been more severe that Beale's, meaning he will be monitored carefully in the coming days.

Even if he is cleared from concussion, a broken nose will most certainly put him out of action for an extended period.

"He'll have to go through all the concussion protocols and then if he's cleared from there we'll look at his physical wellbeing. At this stage, I'd say he's in serious doubt for Friday night," Gibson said.

"Rugby has taken protocols very seriously around concussions, which they should."

With Robinson off the field and prop Jeremy Tilse in the sin-bin after receiving a late yellow card with three minutes remaining, the Waratahs were so low on troops they had to pack an uncontested scrum.

Meanwhile, lock Will Skelton has received a citing commissioner's warning – essentially an off-field yellow card – for an incident involving Reds hooker Saia Fainga'a.

In the 25th minute of Saturday's 30-10 win – and in the play leading up to David Horwitz's try – Skelton cleaned out a loitering Fainga'a near the ruck.

The Wallabies big man hit Fainga'a in the ribs, prompting Queensland to ask SANZAAR to have a detailed look at footage after the match, but luckily for the Waratahs Skelton has escaped suspension.

Reflecting on the game, Gibson said one of the main positives was the Waratahs' ability to scrap a victory despite not playing their best football and failing to execute their skills at times.

"The first game last year we got beaten by 30 points and a bonus point. We always set pretty high standards and while we were pretty pleased to have a great start in front of an exciting crowd and try and show the type of rugby that we want to play this year, at times our skills let us down," Gibson said. "We've got plenty to improve on, particularly heading into such a crucial week."

Last season the Waratahs would have chalked up a bonus point by the 62nd minute when Nick Phipps crossed for a fourth team try, but the new bonus points system meant the Waratahs had to maintain a three try buffer until the dying seconds with the Reds coming their hardest. 

Gibson is a new fan of the system, saying it will make contests more engaging for longer. 

"For as much as there's been a lot of criticism, I actually think it's really good," Gibson said.

"It forces the team ahead to keep playing. I saw a number of games where the bonus point meant teams had more motivation, so that's the whole point of the law change. We absorbed a great deal of pressure [at that time]."

With Waratahs' backs getting through the game mostly unscathed, it means they will get another crack against the Brumbies to sharpen their combinations and set pieces that went mostly to plan in an expansive opening half an hour.

While Gibson praised the work of David Horwitz on debut at inside-centre, he admitted tough decisions would need to be made when Bernard Foley came back into the starting side as expected in the next two to three weeks.

"When everyone is available we're going to have some selection headaches," Gibson said. "I think that's a really good place to be. Everyone's putting their hand up.

"Now I've had a good look at the video, I felt Dave did very well. He tackled extremely well and it gives us a great deal of confidence in his ability. I think he'll really learn from that experience … he was very good." 

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