Thumb injury rules Kankowski out
April 6, 2010
Ryan Kankowski has been ruled out for the rest of the Super 14 © Getty Images
The Sharks' Super 14 resurgence has taken a blow with the news that No.8 Ryan Kankowski has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken thumb.
The injury, sustained in his side's victory over the Reds last weekend, also has implications for the Springboks. Kankowski will miss the first part of their Tri-Nations defence, leaving coach Peter De Villiers mulling over his options as backup to Bulls powerhouse Pierre Spies.
Kankowski is expected to return prior to a Test against the All Blacks in Johannesburg on August 21 but will miss the competition opener against New Zealand in Auckland on July 10, the return match in Wellington on July 17 and a meeting with Australia in Brisbane on July 24.
Despite Kankowski's injury, Sharks boss John Plumtree was thrilled with his side's victory over the in-form Reds, their third on the trot following five straight defeats at the start of the season.
"Consider the travel and the fact that we made 170 tackles against the Hurricanes and then had about two hours to get onto the coach to the airport, a lot of character was shown in a tense game," he said. "We lost five on the trot, we've now won three in succession. We've had a few problems with combinations and know we have some weaknesses, but what's impressed me is that the things we've worked on are coming right.
"For us it's all about winning from now on. We've talked about bonus points but this week was always going to be about winning and then enjoying the bye. It has come at a good time."
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9