The Brumbies were disappointed but far from despondent after their loss to the Hurricanes on Friday night and while their season is over, 2018 holds some positives.
David Pocock's return is among their reasons for optimism but Brumbies prop Scott Sio couldn't resist having a bit of a tongue-in-cheek dig at his longtime teammate.
"It's pretty unreal that you can say Poey's coming back after a year off," he said.
"He's been saving rhinos and being a humanitarian over there, just how much more of a good bloke does he want to be?
"To have a player of his calibre coming back into the squad next year is pretty unreal.
"I think a lot of the young guys will get a kick out of (that), everyone's followed him for a while and I know how I was when I got to meet a lot of these guys in 2012 and a lot of these guys I grew up watching so I think it'll be pretty special for them when it comes into the fold next year."
Perenara's boots find a new home
Hurricanes scrumhalf TJ Perenara emerged out of the sheds after Friday night's win over the Brumbies with one thing in mind - trying to find a kid to hand off his match-worn boots.
About an hour after fulltime, Perenara came out through the tunnel, scouring the stands for a lucky recipient, but on a night where the temperature had dropped to freezing, there was no one to be found.
Finally, in the bowels of Canberra Stadium he found Ethan, a mad All Blacks fan, whose night was made by the surprise gift.
Gray on the comeback trail
Wallaroos flanker Mollie Gray is on the road to the Women's Rugby World Cup, just five months after rupturing her ACL, and this weekend marked a critical milestone in her recovery.
Gray played her first match since the operation, for Maitland, posting the moment on Instagram.
"What a year! I've been sidelined since Feb and I finally got the chance to chuck the boots on and go for a run tonight to test of the knee before World Cup!!!," she wrote.
"Safe to say it was probably the most nervous I have ever been before a game!
"I want to give a HUGE shoutout to the absolute legends at Maitland Rugby Club for giving me a run tonight!!"
//130 DAYS POST ACL OP// • ***Sappy thank you post*** • What a year! I've been sidelined since Feb and I finally got the chance to chuck the boots on and go for a run tonight to test of the knee before World Cup!!! Safe to say it was probably the most nervous I have ever been before a game! • I want to give a HUGE shoutout to the absolute legends at Maitland Rugby Club for giving me a run tonight!! Those ladies are absolutely amazing and I loved every second it it!! • This rehab comeback would not have been possible without the help of my superstar coach @darrencoughlan of @gcstraining . Without him I would be absolutely lost in the gym and he's the driving force behind all of my hard work over the last 4 years! It's been a wild ride my friend!!! • Thank you to my @kcsportschiro family for putting up with my all year and taking the time to rebuild by knee with me! You guys are legends and I adore all of you! • To @compex.anz and @bodyscience for being absolute champions and being in my corner every step of the way!!!! • And to my amazing family (especially my mumma) and friends for putting up with all my shit and being so god damn supportive • World Cup here we come!!!! I can't wait to get back out there with my Wallaroos family xxx 💚💛
Mental health the focus
Mental health has become a major consideration for many within sport and the Rugby Business Network is doing its bit to open up the conversation.
The group will be holding a dinner on Monday August 7, hosted by Greg Mumm, with a panel that includes former Wallaby Brendan Cannon, discussing the impact of mental health in sport and post-retirement.