It was any rugby club's nightmare. A compound fracture and a neck injury saw two ambulances called to Phillip Oval and games shifted from field to field.
This time it was the Wests Lions and Canberra Royals, who have vowed to stand by two injured second grade players, with one awaiting scan results and another facing a long road to recovery.
Wests prevailed 33-26 over the Royals in the John I Dent Cup on Saturday, with the game played on two different fields to accommodate the ambulance.
The match started on field two while Royals second-grade forward Dominic Monu waited for an ambulance with a neck injury, before the game shifted to the main field after 28 minutes when he was picked up. Wests flyer Austin Vowles had already been taken to hospital with a serious ankle injury.
"[Vowles] suffered a large concussion in pre-season and he only got his clearance on Thursday for concussion," Wests coach Adam Butt said.
MORE RUGBY UNION
"It's disappointing, we feel sorry for him as a club and we will stand by him in whatever he needs."
Reigning premiers Royals have now dropped their opening three games as coach Wayne Southwell counts the cost of his own horror injury toll.
"We can't seem to take much of a trick with injuries, but you go through those patches. As long as those guys are alright, that's the main thing," Southwell said.
"I can't remember it quite this bad so early, there are quite a few to come back. The guys out there are doing their best and it's not anything against that.
"It's more replacements through the game, you can't get any fluidity on that. Every team has to cope with that, but it stings a bit set piece-wise. You've got a different thrower at every second lineout, a different front-row every now and then.
"They've shown a lot of character so I'm really happy with how we're going actually, obviously the scoreboard is one thing but the reflection here is they've shown a lot of heart. We'll come back."
Butt concedes Wests still have plenty to work on despite claiming their third win on the trot to move to the top of the ladder.
Because in the second half alone "our lineout wasn't great, our scrum wasn't great, our communication wasn't great in the backs".
Yet still the Lions managed to repel wave after wave of Royals attacking raids to come away with a hard-fought seven-point victory behind enemy lines.
"The effort with the backs to the wall in the last 20 minutes is a pleasing sign, and you can't teach effort. If I can get effort, I'll take effort," Butt said.
"It's a credit to the boys, they've got big hearts and we've proven that all year.
"For some reason we don't blow sides away and I'd really like it if we could, hopefully that will come later in the year. They just kept turning up for each other.
"This competition is so hard, there are no off weeks. If you take an off week, you'll get done by a lot and you come down to earth pretty quick."
AT A GLANCE
John I Dent Cup round three: WESTS LIONS 33 bt CANBERRA ROYALS 26 at Phillip Oval; GUNGAHLIN EAGLES 61 bt QUEANBEYAN WHITES 29 at Campese Field; TUGGERANONG VIKINGS 20 bt UNI-NORTHS OWLS 17 at Viking Park.