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.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton