The Stormers paid a dear price for their 26-16 Super 14 win over the Highlanders at Newlands on Saturday, losing two key players to injury.
Talismanic flank Schalk Burger has been ruled out of the Super 14 due to a knee injury and All Black flyhalf Tony Brown also left the field with suspected fractured ribs.
Phil Coetzer reports for Rugby 365 that the win kept the Stormers in the race for a playoff spot, but they may rue their inability to secure a four-try bonus point.
They are in sixth place on the standings, with just one point separating third and sixth places.
And major injury setbacks are the last thing the Cape Town-based franchise needed.
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed that Burger had damaged knee ligaments against the Highlanders, which saw him hobble off midway through the second half, and will be sidelined for at least six weeks.
“It’s not good,” Erasmus said at the post-match media conference.
“He [Burger] will not play Super 14 [rugby] again this year. He’s out with a knee ligament [for] at least six weeks.”
The injury also cast a doubt over Burger’s prospects of facing Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales – when the Boks play them in Bloemfontein on June 7 and in Pretoria a week later.
Erasmus said he was hoping that scans would reveal that Brown’s injury was just cartilage damage.
The Stormers coach was trying to put a positive spin on the setback.
“It’s the same for all the coaches,” he said of the injuries.
“We’re definitely not the only team with injuries like that. That’s why we have a squad.
“Peter Myburgh will come into the mix in Schalk’s place. He’s played against the Crusaders before. When Tondie [Tonderai Chavhanga] was out, we had to get the next guy in, and when JD [Moller] was out we had to get the next guy.”
Erasmus was hopeful that Chavhanga would recover in time from his hamstring injury to face the Brumbies in a crucial outing at Newlands next week.
“There’s a chance that he might be [fit],” Erasmus added.Tweet