France

Boks counting the cost

Sun, 17 Nov 2013 21:56
Francois-louw-stretchered-o
Francois was put on a stretcher as a precaution
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South Africa were left counting the cost of their impressive 28-0 shut-out of Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Three players left the field with varying degrees of injuries, which could cause the Springboks some headaches in the build-up to their final Test of the year-end tour - against France in Paris this coming Saturday.

To complicate matter the Boks have a short week - with Monday set down for travel and Tuesday their first training session.

The biggest concern appears to be rookie tighthead prop Frans Malherbe, who limped of after just half-an-hour at Murrayfield.

"The news on Frans is not so great, as he has a suspected rib cartilage injury and that means the chances aren't great that he will be able to play in Paris," Bok coach Heyneke Meyer told a media scrum after the Murrayfield encounter.

Utility front row forward Coenie Oosthuizen, who came on as a replacement and scored the SA team's fourth try, is likely to get a start in the No.3 jersey.

The Boks' most celebrated tighthead, Jannie du Plessis, was left behind in SA before the team departed - after he had to undergo shoulder and hand surgery.

Loose forward Francois Louw, who was taken off the field inside the final 10 minutes after a cheap short from Scotsman Jim Hamilton at a ruck, was suffering from neck and concussion symptoms.

However, the Bok mentor was optimistic that the openside flank would feature in Paris.

"Francois was put on a stretcher as a precaution," the coach said, adding: "However, I was told he will be fine.

"Obviously he will still have to be monitored closely.

Willem Alberts, who was replaced by Marcel Coetzee at half-time, came into the game with a shoulder complaint and was only passed fit late on Saturday.

"In Willem's case we are concerned about his shoulder and as you know he was doubtful for this game, and we brought him off early to protect that injury.

"He should also be fine for Paris," the coach added.

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