Brumbies star Pocock cited for neck grab

Superstar David Pocock faces a potential ban after being cited for alleged foul play in the Brumbies' 48-23 loss to the Chiefs, their biggest in Canberra.

David Pocock is in doubt for the Brumbies' crucial conference showdown with the NSW Waratahs following an alleged neck grab in the franchise's biggest-ever home defeat.

The superstar flanker was cited by SANZAAR for foul play on Chiefs No.8 Michael Lietch at a maul late in Saturday night's 48-23 loss to Super Rugby's rampant frontrunners the Chiefs.

The incident at GIO Stadium went unpunished by referee Angus Gardner but the governing body's citing commissioner believed it met the red-card threshold and was contrary to good sportsmanship.

Pocock must now front a judicial officer Adam Cassleden on Tuesday morning when his fate will be determined.

If suspended for one week, the Brumbies could follow the Waratahs' lead and have Pocock named to play club rugby during the side's bye round to ensure he's available for the round-eight derby against NSW on April 16.

The Waratahs earlier this season successfully argued hooker Tolu Latu would serve his punishment in Sydney club rugby last month after he was found guilty of punching Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua.

Pocock is aligned to Canberra's Uni-Norths Owls, who open their John I Dent Cup season against Wests on Saturday.

News of Pocock's citing compounded what was a historic loss for Australia's faltering conference leaders.

It was the club's largest ever losing margin in Canberra; eclipsing their 33-15 loss to the Hurricanes in 2008 and 41-23 defeat to the Sharks in 1998.

And not since 2011 have they conceded as many points in a match.

But coach Stephen Larkham said effort, not results, was what mattered most.

"And I think there was plenty of effort out there," he said.

"There's obviously areas that we need to work on.

"Defensively, around the halfway mark was an area we got found out (but) our defensive effort on our line was superb and I think that's what's been a hallmark of this team for a number of years."

Several Brumbies players will attend a Wallabies camp over coming days while others go on community visits, before they get some time off and regather for training Monday week.

"It's a well-earned break to get away from rugby and then come back nice and fresh," Larkham said.

"I think that will be our first standard week this year, in terms of seven-day turnaround, so it'll be good to get back into rugby and our usual cycle."

Co-captain Stephen Moore is hoping the break will give his injured teammates time to recover, namely Blake Enever, Jarrod Butler and Henry Speight.

"We've got to take stock, we've had a big six weeks but there's a long way to go so we've got to dust ourselves off and go again," he said.

BRUMBIES BIGGEST HOME LOSSES

25 points (48-23): v Chiefs, round 6 2016

18 points (33-15): v Hurricanes, round 5 2008

18 points (41-23): v Sharks, round 3 1998

14 points (30-16): v Blues, round 18 2012

14 points (42-28): v Chiefs, round 8 2008

13 points (37-24): v Crusaders, round 18 2015

13 points (16-3): v Stormers, round 15 2011

Source AAP

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