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Cooper injured

Sunday, February 16, 2014

BRISBANE - Quade Cooper was stretchered off Ballymore as the Melbourne Rebels produced a shock 18-13 trial upset of the Queensland Reds on Friday night.

Cooper fell awkwardly in the final minute of the match to bring a long halt to play as a dozen medics and concerned officials tended to the Wallabies playmaker.

The suspected head injury has the five-eighth in grave doubt for the Reds' Super Rugby opener against the Brumbies next Saturday in Canberra.

The Rebels completed a pre-season clean sweep with the two-tries-to one victory after fighting back from 13-0 down midway through the first half.

McGahan has worked overtime at toughening up the Melbourne squad and game, and they showed in their defensive and breakdown ferocity they will be a far more imposing force.

As well as their physicality, the Rebels showed good signs in attack with young playmaker Bryce Hegarty outshining Cooper before he left the field in a neck brace.

All Black recruit Tamati Ellison completed a full game in the centres but another former Kiwi, Australian-born prop Toby Smith, had the biggest impact, including a number of big hits.

In stark contrast was the performance of Queensland's prize recruit Lachie Turner whose hopes of starting against the Brumbies may have been dashed in the loss.

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