Four out of the five semi-final contenders in the 2010 Currie Cup are reeling somewhat this week after injuries that threaten to keep key players out of action as the season nears its climax.
The Lions, facing the Cheetahs on Saturday in a must-win clash, have lost the services of 19-year-old fullback Jaco Taute to a shoulder injury. Taute will miss anything between 2 and 3 weeks of rugby and the Lions will probably need to move Michae Killian into the number 15 shirt and bring someone like Deon van Rensburg or Jannie Boshoff onto the vacant wing. Their opponents were able to report a clean bill of health after their runaway victory over the Pumas on Friday night and must be feeling good about their own semi-final prospects given the health of their squad.
The Sharks appear to have lost captain Stefan Terblanche for at least a fortnight to an elbow injury, as we reported earlier. John Plumtree will need to scratch his head to find a new number 13, since it’s an area in which he does not have a vast amount of depth. Finding a caretaker captain may prove even more tricky.
It’s the Blue Bulls and Western Province, facing each other in a do-or-die encounter this weekend that could go a long way to determining which of these sides hosts a semi-final, that have been hardest hit. Province have only lost one player, loosehead prop Wicus Blaauw, who will miss the rest of the season due to a hamstring injury. Added to the loss of fiery hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, though, it severely weakens the Province front row and opposing sides will feel that the Cape team must now be vulnerable up front. Whether the Bulls are in any position to capitalise remains to be seen, however. They are already without the services of flank Deon Stegmann, whose injury is taking longer to heal than anticipated and have now lost utility forward Juandre Kruger as well. Kruger broke his hand against the Leopards this weekend. There is further concern about regular skipper Gary Botha, who hobbled off with a knee injury. The extent of the damage is not yet known.Tweet