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David Pocock blow for shell-shocked Wallabies

Australia’s hopes of recovering from a chastening defeat to New Zealand and breaking a 26-year hoodoo have been dealt a potentially savage blow with captain David Pocock an injury doubt.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who described Saturday’s 27-19 loss in Sydney as below Test standard, confirmed his skipper was an uncertain starter for the next fixture in the Rugby Championship after a first-half injury.

Basic handling errors, missed one-on-one tackles and the concession of a try from an All Blacks’ set-piece, left Deans in a dissatisfied mood even before he realised the extent of Pocock’s injury.

The clash at Eden Park on Saturday doubles as the second of three Tests to decide the Bledisloe Cup and the Wallabies must then win in Auckland for the first time since 1986 to prevent All Blacks from holding the title for a 10th year in a row.

“There’s a possibility he may be unavailable,” Deans said of Pocock, who received treatment at half-time on Saturday but finished the match.

“I saw him being assessed and had a quick yarn with him. He came back and he was good. He said he had no problem carrying on and that’s what he did.”

Pocock though was in pain yesterday and went for scans as Deans sifted through the rubble of a defeat that was more comprehensive than the scoreline suggested.

“Some of the errors were just unacceptable in any competition at any level,” Deans said.

“It shouldn’t happen at this level. We have to be better in Auckland. That wouldn’t be too hard, to be fair.”

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