18 Feb 2012

Barnes hurt in Waratahs thumping of Tonga

12:14 pm on 18 February 2012

Berrick Barnes' early departure from the Waratah's pre-season demolition of Tonga appeared precautionary, but New South Wales will still be holding their breath ahead of next week's Super Rugby opener against Queensland.

The star playmaker was only down to play 40 minutes at the Sydney Football Stadium, but was replaced in the 30th minute, nursing a groin complaint - as the Waratahs cruised to a 52-0 victory.

The Waratahs were confident Barnes was just experiencing tightness in his right groin, with the stand-in captain having the area strapped as soon as he was replaced by Daniel Halangahu.

With the match broken into a first half and then three periods of 20 minutes for a total playing time of 100 minutes, confusion set in at the SFS when half the crowd of 4063 stood up and walked out after a hooter was blown at 80 minutes.

Even the match officials left the field and had to be called back.