Injuries mount for slumping Sharks
May 4, 2013
The Sharks and Lwazi Mvovo may look for some divine intervention with their injury toll mounting © Getty Images
More injuries have added to the Sharks mounting Super Rugby problems after their 25-22 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Experienced centre Francois Steyn suffered a suspected broken leg after half-time on Saturday, while No. 8 Lubabalo Mtembu injured his shoulder. Both players are ruled out of at least the Sharks' remaining tour games against the Queensland Reds, in Brisbane on Friday, and Western Force.
Their New Zealand coach John Plumtree reflected on a shocking injury toll after his side notched a fourth straight loss after winning five of their first six games.
"Our injury situation is not good. Our backs are decimated," he said. "We've just got to keep going. We've got to get some fit guys organised in time and just get on with it."
Plumtree didn't criticise his side for turning down late penalty shots which could have drawn the game. Instead they pushed for what would have been a winning try and failed as the Highlanders ended an 11-match losing streak dating back to May last year.
"The boys wanted to get four points. Time was up on the clock and we wouldn't have had time to get back down into their territory and win the game," Plumtree said. "It's disappointing. We looked good when we had the ball and kept it but we had too many little opportunities that we didn't nail. You can't doubt the boys' effort but the changing room is a mess."
Impressive Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit was later issued an off-field yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Highlanders forward Jarrad Hoeta but he will be free to face the Reds.
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games