The Brumbies are in danger of losing halfback Tomas Cubelli for 2017, with the Pumas starter injured in a 53-17 trial loss to the Waratahs.
Cubelli is a player they could ill afford to lose, one of the few experienced heads in the Brumbies’ new-look backline and a lynchpin of their side in 2016.
The 27-year-old came off in the 39th minute and will be sent for scans this week on a possible ACL injury and dislocated kneecap, a combination that puts him in doubt for the entire 2017 season.
It took some time for the game to get off the ground, with both sides shaking off some preseason rust.
Acting NSW skipper Jack Dempsey took the extra role in his stride, taking the ball from a lineout and over the line, with scrumhalf Jake Gordon adding to the tally three minutes later.
Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli narrowed the score, finishing a Brumbies set piece pick and go, just in the final throes of the opening third.
The Waratahs answered that challenge almost immediately in the second third, through winger Reece Robinson, who gathered an Irae Simone kick.
Josh Mann-Rea replied but the score was overshadowed by Cubelli’s injury.
The Waratahs added two more tries, through Bryce Hegarty and Andrew Kellaway, as their second string attack penetrated the Brumbies’ line.
Halfback Matt Lucas added to NSW’s score in the final third, with Irae Simone stretching the margin to 29 points.
Tom Banks stole a late one back for the Brumbies.
The Brumbies will play just the Brisbane Global Tens before Super Rugby season, while the Waratahs have a February 16 trial against the Highlanders at Brookvale Oval.
Tries: Dempsey, Gordon, Robinson, Hegarty, Kellaway, Lucas, Simone, Latu, Robinson Cons: Hegarty 2, Deegan 2
Tries: Cubelli, Mann-Rea, Thompson Cons: Hawera