Injury crisis for Reds

2011-06-12 15:47

Sydney - Reds coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to look to local club rugby to bolster his playoffs-bound squad after they suffered more injuries to their backs in their 24-21 win over the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

The victory ensured the Reds will finish in the top-two of the southern hemisphere competition and be granted a bye in the first week of the playoffs, which begin after next week's final round of matches.

McKenzie, who was forced to draft in a number of players from the Reds' academy, lost Luke Morahan (hamstring) and Rod Davies (shoulder) in their clash with the Force with the pair likely to join fellow backs Ben Lucas (knee) Digby Ioane (concussion) and Anthony Faingaa (hamstring) on the sidelines.

"We're into finding replacements again so that will give us something to do next week," McKenzie told Australian Associated Press in Perth. "We'll wait and see what the story is with Digby. That will be a complete medical process there.

"He might or might not be available (for Saturday's match against the Waikato Chiefs).

"Otherwise, we'll just go to the well again and we'll find a solution locally."

McKenzie was forced to seek an exemption from the Australian Rugby Union to call openside flanker Liam Gill back from the world under-20 championship in Italy to play the rest of the season after Beau Robinson suffered an elbow injury.

Academy player Jono Lance was also selected for his Super rugby debut against the Force, while McKenzie had rushed Davies back from a knee injury for the clash.

The Reds top the table on 62 points with only the Stormers (58) capable of surpassing them, though that would require a four-try victory against the Cheetahs and the Reds not achieving any competition points against the Chiefs.

The third-placed Crusaders (57) could finish on 62 points with a bonus-point win against the Hurricanes but have not won as many games as the Australian side.

Despite that, McKenzie said his side would not be resting on their laurels ahead of the Chiefs game.

"We've got some work to do. It's no time to sit around patting yourself on the back. You've just got to get on with it," he added.

"No doubt we'll be finding some players and getting them incorporated, so that will be part of the process.

"If we can get in the right territory (by finishing top), ideally you get a week off.

"That would allow a couple of our players that are injured maybe time to come back.

"That would be nice."


  • WPBEFONK - 2011-06-12 16:23

    I STRONGLY believe that after this weekend's games this will be the TOP 6: Stormers 62 Reds 62 Crusaders 61 Blues 61 Sharks 57 Waratahs 56 Crusaders(H) vs Waratahs Blues(H) vs the Sharks Stormers and Reds to enjoy a WELL deserved rest the weekend of 25 June!!!!!

      Frikkie - 2011-06-12 17:00

      Lekker rus ou grote want julle het net twee games oor...

      Samuisun - 2011-06-12 17:45

      Julle moet net eers by die Cheetahs verby kom...

      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-12 18:22

      @Frikkie- Ja FREKKIE jy weet self, ons hoef nie gisteraand se game te gewen het nie. Vandaar al die foute, ons wou vir julle die deur oop maak, maar die naweek TRAP die Haaie julle!!!!!!!!!!

      Frikkie - 2011-06-12 20:25

      Dankie vir die kans wat julle ons gun WP...

      Domkop - 2011-06-12 21:39

      Strongly disagree; Reds 63 Crusaders 61 Blues 60 Stormers 59 Bulls 58 Waratahs 56 Crusaders/Reds rest. Blues beat Waratahs Bulls beat Stormers Crusaders beat Bulls Reds beat Blues Final;Reds beat Crusaders Wanna bet?????Remember this!!!Stormers are real chokers!!!Like our cricket team.In 30 tournaments in 10 years not a single cup.Not even after they try to buy it with players/coaches and technical advisors.What a shame!!!!!

      Gareth Leonard - 2011-06-13 08:56

      @Domkop Strongly disagree all you want, but do you even understand the playoff rules for the Super 15? Each of the top three places on the overall table must be occupied by the leaders of the individual conferences. Accordingly, the Stormers will likely finish 3rd on the log at the very least, with the possibility of still topping the log if the Reds fail to beat the Chiefs. And for future reference, try using fewer exclamation marks. It'll make your rant sound a little more reasonable.

      Eduardoo - 2011-06-13 09:12

      @DOMP@#S: The Crusaders and Blues can not both finish in the top 3, since they play in the same conference. Thus you chose a very fitting name for yourself.

  • Bandleader - 2011-06-12 19:12

    Suspected the Reds were too thin. Blues might be in for a similar situation. Competition's murderous considering it's a RWC year. Timing should maybe have been 2012 introduction? Hope that Alister's strategy of depth in all departments will carry the Stormers through. Seems like Stormers lacked the will to win yesterday, though. At least they helped the Bulls, unlike the Lions, who after a poor run of form play a blinder to trip up a leading SA side - again. Glad it's not the Stormers this year.

  • Guz - 2011-06-12 21:54

    LOL Domkop , ek kan verstaan hoekom jou naam domkop is...jy praat K@K en is boonop dom. Paste that prediction on your forehead to who how stupid you are cause it ain't gonna happen.

  • wventer - 2011-06-13 11:46

    Well I believe the Bulls will pull it through. Doesn't really mater what we say. It will all come down to this weekend. My prediction for the playoffs is as follow: 1. REDS 2. STORMERS 3. CRUSADERS 4. BLUES 5. BULLS 6. WARATHAS Everybody can say what they want, but the Bulls is force to be recant with. And to beat them in the following few games is not going to be easy. What's this space.............

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