Wallaby wonder Will Genia successfully negotiated his first 40 minutes of competitive rugby in five and a half months as he took the first steps on the roads to facing the British & Irish Lions at the weekend.
And the Queensland Reds and Wallabies are set for another huge boost this weekend with lock James Horwill finally set to make his return to action after hamstring troubles in the game against the Bulls. All of a sudden Australia’s long term injury worries seem to be easing.
It may not have been a happy return for the Reds star scrum half Genia, as his team were beaten 19-12 at home by the Western Force, but he did enough to show he is on his way back to reclaiming his Test spot.
"I've focused on improving everything to be better than what I was before. If I'm anything less, then I'll be disappointed," Genia admitted in the build-up to his comeback after knee reconstruction.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans would have been delighted to see Genia being reunited with fit-again Quade Cooper at half-back for the Reds, although they weren’t able to engineer a fourth win for the 2011 Super Rugby champions.
In fact, Genia complained his side were “complacent” as they slumped to a rare home defeat at Suncorp Stadium, and a first Super Rugby reverse against the Force. The Force are the British & Irish Lions first opponents on Aussie soil on Wednesday, 5 June, and had new Kiwi scrum half Alby Mathewson to thank for their first win of the season.
"We've got to be really hard on ourselves and address it. It has been frustrating not finding rhythm in attack but, sometimes, we haven't been patient enough and pushed passes rather than build," added Genia.
The Waratahs plunged to another disastrous home defeat as they were pipped 27-26 at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney by the Cheetahs. Michael Cheika’s side are averaging 19 turnovers per game this season and have now lost three games in a row.
Jake White’s Brumbies, however, moved six points clear at the top of the Super Rugby ladder with a four straight win, this time a 29-10 success over the Sharks in Durban. They are now the only undefeated team in the tournament.