Bulls blow, Akona breaks leg

2010-04-28 12:55

Brenden Nel

Pretoria - The Bulls were hit with a massive blow on Wednesday when Springbok wing Akona Ndungane broke his leg in the team’s final full practice session at Loftus Versfeld.

Ndungane was due to make his return to the side after the exact same injury in last year’s Absa Currie Cup which kept him out of action for six months. While it can’t be confirmed just yet, it is thought that he snapped the bone in the exact same place as the last time.

The cruel blow could well turn out to be a career-threatening one for the Bok wing but it was too early to speculate on the seriousness of the injury in that regard.

Ndungane was in the starting line-up for the Sharks game, and was due to replace John Mametsa in the starting line-up as one of the changes from the side that beat the Lions 51-11 last weekend. He will now be replaced by Francois Hougaard, who Mametsa replaced at the last minute last weekend after the utility back pulled a hamstring in the team’s captain’s run on Friday.

“He is one of the guys who has been in our system for a very long time now, and we had a lot of hope that he would make a successful comeback this weekend. It’s sad but we need to go on,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said. Captain Victor Matfield said it was a massive blow for the team, who had supported Ndungane in his bid to make the comeback to Super 14 rugby.

“It’s a big loss, and he worked very hard to be able to make the comeback this weekend,” Matfield said, “He has been one of our stalwarts over the past five, six years and it is very sad that he won’t be able to make that comeback now.

“We’re lucky that Francois Hougaard is able to slot in and he has played there well this season for us. It just shows that you must enjoy every moment that you have in this game, because you never know when you’re going to be injured.”

Ludeke cautioned about talk that Ndungane’s career may be over.

“It’s too early to say, we will wait for the X-rays to be taken, and the specialist to give his opinion before we will know how bad it is,” Ludeke added.

Ndungane was running back to fetch a kick when he turned and slipped on the wet field, going down with his team-mates hearing a loud crack. He was taken to the Little Company of Mary hospital.


  • witseun - 2010-04-28 13:04

    Bloody hell, that's gotta hurt. He is a good servant of the game and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.

  • Ballboy - 2010-04-28 13:09

    What a pity it would have been nice to see the twins play against each other in the Sharks game! We wish him a speedy recovery!

  • Brandon - 2010-04-28 13:10

    Yeah it's hardly a massive blow. Not because the player is not good, but because the Bulls have played without him all season. So, now they will just have to do so for a bit longer. I fail to see "the crises"

  • coen - 2010-04-28 13:25

    Wat n ongelukkige insident. Hy was altyd 'n ster in die span en die span het hom nodig. Hougaardt is nog nie heeltemal daar nie. Sterkte Akona en hoop jy maak die come back.

  • Kaballas - 2010-04-28 13:28

    Bad luck... Andre Snyman was also never the same player again after a broken leg. What happened to Conrad Jantjes? He also broke his leg and failed to return as of yet?

  • Gerrit - 2010-04-28 13:29

    Jy moet maar meer melk drink ou Akona. Hoop ons sien jou volgende jaar, sterkte maat.

  • Unabashed Dutchman - 2010-04-28 13:31

    Yeah, big blow indeed and his experience will be sorely missed. But at least the Bulls have so much depth and skill that one injured player will not derail our plans - unlike some other SA teams. We don't need to now start importing a second-rate player as a stop-gap measure. That is the difference between the Bulls and the rest. No crisis, the Bulls will still thump the Sharks, Saders and of course, the Stormbarians. Get well soon, Akona, and enjoy the game!

  • MIke - 2010-04-28 13:38

    Sorry Akona!!! I hope that the break is not to bad and you will have a speedy recovery.

  • Lewsi - 2010-04-28 13:39

    Definitely NOT a massive blow. Trust the media to blow it out of proportion. We have sufficient, if not better, backup.

  • Stormer man - 2010-04-28 13:46

    Akona - ek is wel nie 'n Bloubul ondersteuner nie maar so 'n besering is altyd slegte nuus. Sterkte en hoop jy kan die besering spoedig oorkom.

  • Mot - 2010-04-28 13:46

    The impact is the following: Akona was supposed to reclaim his regular spot at wing so Hougaard can move to scrummie where he will replace Fourie in the CC as well as next year when the Boks are preparing for the RWC. Now Hougie needs to stay at wing with Mametsa as back-up (not bad back-up but he is a bit slow and small for S14 - nothing wrong with his heart or committment though - he always gives 100% for the Bulls and will continue to have a long career with the BBRU). So coining it a crisis is a bit OTT but it is a serious problem for the Bulls

  • Viv - 2010-04-28 13:46

    This is really terrible news! I just hope that this is just a set back and Akona is back in rugby very soon. Big loss for the Bulls and Boks. And I bet he was looking forward to taking his boetie on this weekend too.

  • Stormer man - 2010-04-28 13:50

    Akona - ek is wel nie 'n Bloubul ondersteuner nie maar so 'n besering is altyd slegte nuus. Sterkte en hoop jy kan die besering spoedig oorkom.

  • 2 stories in 1 - 2010-04-28 13:56

    Akona breaks leg and Bulls blow !

  • No surprises there..... - 2010-04-28 13:58

    Who's blowing who at the Bulls???

  • Stryder - 2010-04-28 14:01

    Us rugby supporters are such racists. Especially the bulls supporters. Just look at these comments. *Being Sarcastic* Good luck Akona. Hope you come right and land back on your feet.

  • Selma - 2010-04-28 14:02

    What a blow to Ndungane. In interview with Tim Henman he stated that he had broken his left leg in four places - are we raising calcium deficient children. Osteoporosis is on the increase - even men are falling victim to the dreaded condition. We need to be more health concious and take supplements. Food aint what it used to be.

  • HJH - 2010-04-28 14:04

    Maybe they should take a closer look as to why his leg broke again. It should be stronger on the spot where it broke before, so how could it have broken there again?

  • Province - 2010-04-28 14:19

    Hope he gets well soon, but the Bulls have enough depth in their squad with adequate replacements though. Going to be a titanic tussle, all the best to both teams.

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-04-28 14:20

    I know this is not the place to talk about it , but I wonder where Bulla , Bliksem and their cronies are - would like to make one point: Bulla & Co are always saying about Red/Yellow Cards for the Stormers( Esp. Schalk) but if one looks at Tanks card list , for a team that is 2nd , guess what - No yellow , No red ,but there are 2 Ntvl players who have got yellow cards To Akona : get better soon

  • chimsoro - 2010-04-28 14:21

    pity bout that...very bad luck there even though he wears a thugs jersey he is certainly a great player with a decent attitude. do you ever see him arrogant. do you ever see him aggressive...he just gets on with is job and does pretty well...hope he gets better soon and is back to entertain like his boet...

  • STORMER - 2010-04-28 14:21

    I am also certain Conrad Jantjies won't be close to the same player when he returns after that nasty break. Good Luck Akona, with the healing and rehab! Speedy recovery!

  • @HJH - 2010-04-28 14:29

    I agree. Must be a cyst or something... Sort this guy out so we can be even better.

  • Koos - 2010-04-28 14:30

    Ek hoop nie die bulls meet hulle teen die lions nie!! Ons het meer punte as hulle teen die Reds aangeteken!!! As dit nie vir hierdie patetiese ref was nie dan sou ons julle geroer het julle losers!!!! O ja!! die suur room is heel bo!!

  • SR - 2010-04-28 14:40

    @Ballboy - That would have been great, just hope its not all downhill for him from here. Go Bulls!!! watch out the Sharks.

  • D man - 2010-04-28 14:42

    Aikona Akona

  • STORMER - 2010-04-28 14:45

    @Cliff....yesterday was a public holiday mate...Those Tards are still either a) in lockup b) sleeping it off c) searching aimlessly for their car keys in Pta West...

  • CHRIS EVERSON - 2010-04-28 14:52

    That's really crap news .... very bad luck indeed. Akona is a terrific player, full of heart, and the game is poorer without him. Luckily his equally brave brother is still on the field. Get well soon.

  • Molefe - 2010-04-28 15:15

    Sorry to hear Akona! I have always said that you ar ethe better of the twins! Was looking forward to seeing you back!

  • Yougs - 2010-04-28 15:22

    That sucks man. I would never wish that on anyone. Wish you a spedy recovery Akona !!!

  • Bliksem! - 2010-04-28 15:28

    @Lewsi is mos 'n Doesi! For Akona and his many fans this is a terrible blow and can you be so insensitive you rude and senseless imbecile! The man is a dedicated player who has sustained a major break almost in the identical position to a previous break which is decidedly awful, painful and will require much time in rehab, whilst you coach potato no doubt sit in your armchair grazing banannas....careful you dont trip and twist your ankle on a random bananna peel!

  • Mot - 2010-04-28 15:42

    Akona to turn the 'corna' soon and get well very fast! Good luck!

  • Skubbe - 2010-04-28 18:36

    @Unabashed Dutchman... Another cheap shot at the Stormers while one of your own is facing a career threatening injury. All those degrees and still no tact. What a chop!

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-04-28 21:37

    Sincere condolences, Akona... wishing you a recovery as speedy as you are!

  • Chrissi - 2010-04-28 22:18

    Get well soon!! You are the only bull i can tolerate...

  • Hoe nou? - 2010-04-28 22:53

    Die Bulls moet nou besluit of Hougaard nou die beste wing in die wêreld is of nie.Soos hulle aangaan is hy die beste ding na die groot trek wat met Pretoria gebeur het maar nou huil hul oor Akona!?Hougaard is n kommin slak wat nie eers in Vodacom Cup op die wing hoort nie maar volgens JJ Blouharm en die Bulls ondersteuners is hy mos DIE MAN saam met klaasvakie vd Heever poefter op die ander wing.My ouma kon ook vd Heever se driee gedruk het hierdie jaar en buitendien kan die ding ook nie tackle nie.Thanks god Snorre het brains!

  • Alibaba - 2010-04-29 03:09

    Ouch, good luck Akona.

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