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Cheetah finally gives in to pain

Mon, 12 Aug 2013 21:40
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Fullback crisis in Bloem
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The Free State Cheetahs could be without the services of their only specialist fullback for a while, with Hennie Daniller  struggling with a suspected hand fracture.

Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie confirmed to this website that Daniller went for scans on Monday and saw a specialist to determine if the injury is serious enough to sideline him.

"Hennie [Daniller] actually injured his hand in the [Super Rugby] match against the Blues [on July 6]," Fourie told this website.

The Cheetahs stalwart continued to play through the pain barrier - in the preliminary play-off match against the Brumbies on July 21 and last week's Currie Cup opener against the Golden Lions.

"We suspect he may have suffered a fracture or cracked a bone," Fourie said, adding: "He played with the [injured] hand and we injected it [to kill the pain].

"He went for scans and to see a specialist, so we are awaiting the results."

The problem for the Cheetahs is that utility back Riaan Smit, who often plays at flyhalf and featured on the wing, is also struggling with an injury niggle.

Smit injured the tendon behind the knee, where the hamstring attaches to the bone.

"He was also unable to train today [Monday], so we will make a call on him by Wednesday," Fourie told this website.

While the rest of the squad is fine, the Cheetahs could face a crisis if both Daniller and Smit are ruled out of their Round Two Currie Cup encounter with Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

The arrival of Willie du Plessis, the University of Pretoria flyhalf, will help with the dept at No.10, it is at fullback where the real problem could be.

Piet Lindeque, who replaced Smit when he left the field in the second half could fill in as an emergency measure, then there is utility back Joubert Engelbrecht, but he is mainly a flyhalf, centre or wing.

Sevens Springbok Rayno Benjamin could also be pushed into the last line of defence in an emergency.

By Jan de Koning

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