Durban - When Jean-Luc du Preez left the field 22 minutes into Saturday's Currie Cup final with an ankle injury, it was a massive blow to the Sharks and their title charge.
Western Province coach John Dobson said afterwards that, in the build-up to the match, he had considered the physicality of both Du Preez brothers - Jean-Luc and Dan - as one of the Sharks' major threats.
While there was plenty wrong the Sharks' game on the night as they missed tackles and were bossed in the scrums, losing Jean-Luc didn't help their cause at all.
But, Currie Cups aside, his injury could also be bad news for Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, who will name his squad for the end-of-year European tour on Sunday.
There was no official confirmation on how severe the injury was immediately following the match, but Jean-Luc's father and Sharks coach Robert du Preez did acknowledge that it had been a tough pill to swallow watching one of his biggest players leave the field.
"It was a big loss," Du Preez Snr said, before adding that he was not sure of the severity of the injury.
"I'm not too sure exactly what the situation is. We'll do some x-rays tomorrow and we'll have a clearer picture."
Dobson added that he had "mixed emotions" when Du Preez had to leave the field. On the one hand he knew it would benefit Province, but on the other he felt for Du Preez.
"It's a horrible feeling in the coach's box sitting there wondering if he was going to go off," Dobson said.
"It was significant, it was big ... I was very sorry for Jean-Luc, but it's horrible to have mixed emotions about an injury."
Sport24's @LloydBurnard is in Durban covering the Currie Cup final...