Crusaders casualties grow
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:19
sounds like a serious one
Injuries could force Corey Flynn and Willi Heinz out of the Crusaders for a lengthy period.
Hooker Flynn suffered a suspected fractured eye socket in the first half of Saturday's scratchy 14-13 win over the Stormers and needs a scan to determine the damage.
"It was only after the game that they realised something wasn't quite right," coach Todd Blackadder said yesterday.
"He talked about some discomfort at halftime but it didn't seem too over the top at the time."
If the fracture is confirmed, Flynn, who was replaced by Ben Funnell in the 53rd minute, may need surgery and potentially be sidelined for several months.
Halfback Heinz suffered a calf muscle injury and Blackadder isn't hopeful of seeing him back in Super Rugby any time soon.
"He's pulled his calf and it sounds like a serious one. That means Mitchell [Drummond] will come in."
Their season is only three weeks old but the Crusaders' casualty ward is already busy.
On the injury list are flankers Richie McCaw (fractured thumb) and George Whitelock (strained adductor muscle), and centre/wing Adam Whitelock (hamstring). Wing Nafi Tuitavake may recover from his hamstring to meet the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night.
The win over the Stormers has eased some pressure on the Crusaders but Blackadder's side is still operating well short of expectations.
Serious consideration must surely be given to removing centre Reynold Lee-Lo who has failed to match the strong form he displayed at the Hurricanes last season.
"It's certainly something we discussed after the game," Blackadder said in reference to a potential midfield reshuffle.
"It's one area we don't feel we are over-comfortable with at the moment.
"There is a little pressure on there. Rey's playing reasonably OK but we're just not getting that punch we need. I think that is with the team not yet playing with a lot of confidence right across the board."
Ryan Crotty could shift out to centre, allowing Colin Slade and Tom Taylor to fill the No. 10 and No. 12 positions.
Transferring Slade to first flyhalf would mean putting Israel Dagg back to his rightful position at fullback after he started at wing.
Source: Fairfax NZ News
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