News In Brief
Hurricanes hit by injury woe
February 28, 2010
Hurricanes center Conrad Smith takes on the Western Force defence, Hurricanes v Western Force, Super 14, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, February 20, 2010
Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith will miss next weekend's match with the Cheetahs due to a sprained thumb © Getty Images

  • The Hurricanes have been struck down by injuries ahead of the South African leg of their Super 14 campaign.

    Fresh from beating the Lions 33-18 here last night, the Hurricanes depart for South Africa without four frontline players in lock Jason Eaton, utility back Tamati Ellison, midfield back Jason Kawau and centre Conrad Smith. Eaton, Ellison and Smith were all injured during the win over the Lions, the Hurricanes' third in succession this season.

    Eaton ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee which is likely to require surgery, putting him out of the game for about six months. The All Black suffered a similar injury to his left knee in 2007. Ellison hurt his right shoulder and will be unavailable for next weekend's game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, while Smith sprained his right thumb and will also miss that match. Kawau, meanwhile, is recovering from sinus surgery and will not travel for at least another week.

    There was better news on the injury front for the Hurricanes, with lock Jeremy Thrush and prop Anthony Perenise among those leaving with the squad after overcoming injuries.

  • Leeds coach Neil Back believes his side are developing the mental aptitude they will require to ensure Premiership survival after watching them beat play-off chasing Wasps 26-10 at Headingley.

    "We always knew it would be extremely tough and it is proving to be so," he said. "But the belief and the commitment from the players belies where we are. Physically we have demonstrated from week one that we can compete. Where we have grown is our ability to deal with the mental pressure. That was added to on Friday night by Worcester's result and still they came out today with the belief that they could get the result.

    Wasps boss Tony Hanks admitted his side had been second best. "They deserved that. Our lineout did not function and we have fallen off some tackles and when we did have the ball we probably didn't show that patient," he said. "We are not happy with our performance. That is not a performance befitting a team that has aspiration to go through to the top four and be contenders."

  • Gloucester prop Greg Somerville is expected to out of action for six weeks after sustaining a fracture to his forearm. The 32-year-old New Zealand international was withdrawn after 50 minutes of Gloucester's 47-3 win over Sale yesterday.

    A Gloucester statement read, "Greg Somerville sustained a fractured radius in his left forearm. He was taken to Gloucester Royal Hospital where the fracture was confirmed and underwent surgery on Saturday evening to have a plate inserted. He is expected to be ruled out of competitive action for around six weeks."

  • Reds winger Rod Davies is expected to miss the next four weeks of the Super 14 season after suffering a suspect fractured cheekbone in Saturday's 27-18 loss to the Blues at Ballymore.

    Fullback Peter Hynes is also in doubt after the Wallaby dislocated a finger early in the match, with both players having to be replaced five minutes into the second half. Head coach Ewen McKenzie said Hynes will seek further specialist medical advice before a decision is made on his availability.

  • Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill slammed his side for a lack of discipline after seeing them go down to a 19-3 defeat to Northampton at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday night. The Tigers' lead over the second-placed Saints was narrowed to just one point as Phil Dowson's 44th-minute try and some accurate kicking by Stephen Myler secured the home side a thumping victory.

    "We started the game well but we gave stupid penalties away. Our ill-discipline from that point of view was disappointing," said Cockerill. "We gave them 12 points in the first half and they didn't do a lot for them. They went in 12-3 ahead and they didn't earn those points particularly, we gave them to them with our ill-discipline. They broke our line with a try at the start of the second half and it's then a hard game to chase."

    Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder was full of praise for his side, "It was a real professional performance," he said. "We have been renowned this season for scoring some good tries and the backs winning us games but this was a 15-man effort. Our forwards were outstanding, particularly in the scrum, which against Leicester you have to be."


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