Nobody was hurting more than Hurricanes prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen in the wake of his side's 17-12 loss to the Chiefs last night.
Just a few days after being named in the All Blacks wider training group, the 22-year-old was carried from the field in the 65th minute with a medial ligament injury in his left knee.
"It is [terrible timing]," coach Mark Hammett said after the match. "After the excitement of the announcement this week, but he's a young, young man, he's got time."
The extent of the injury is unclear, but it will clearly inhibit his ability to take part in the first of two All Blacks camps in Mt Maunganui next week.
"He's pretty sore actually," Hammett said. "It's a bit early to tell, it's a bit sore to even do tests on his knee. So it will be 24 hours before they can have a look."
Initial medical reports from the sidelines suggested two to six weeks.
For now though, he will join his Hurricanes teammates in lamenting a match in which they fronted up physically for, but didn't quite execute the finer details.
A moment that will be debated was when captain Victor Vito opted to take a shot at goal after Chiefs replacement prop Ben Tameifuna was sin-binned in the 70th minute for playing the ball off his feet.
First five-eighth Beauden Barrett knocked over his fourth penalty to close the margin to 17-12, but some felt the Hurricanes should have gone for a lineout.
A converted try could have closed the gap to one point allowing them to chase a penalty or drop goal to win the match.
Vito said he'd initially thought the lineout was the right option, but was happy with his final decision and his coach backed him up.
"It was the right call... we had ten minutes left in that game," Hammett said. "They played the clock down pretty well to be fair. There seemed to be am injury at every stop, so well played by them. We had the opportunity. It was a frustrating night."
- The Dominion Post
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