Blows keep coming for Stormers

Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:42
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There was more bad news for the Stormers after their winless tour, with Springbok Gio Aplon ruled out for six to eight weeks with a dislocated elbow.

There was more bad news for the Stormers after their winless tour, with Springbok Gio Aplon ruled out for six to eight weeks with a dislocated elbow.

The Cape side have now lost all five of their away games this season, with a lengthy injury list contributing considerably to their woes on a disastrous Australasian trip.

Aplon injured himself by falling awkwardly in a tackle in the first half of the defeat to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday, although it was not as serious as originally thought as it is a dislocation and not a fracture.

"Gio dislocated his left elbow and, at this stage, it seems that he will be out of action for six to eight weeks. It's obviously a blow to lose someone of his ability and experience, but one bit of solace is that it's not a fracture.

"(Lock) Jurie van Vuuren also fell awkwardly on his shoulder and had to come off, but he should be good to go for the Waratahs game," said coach Allister Coetzee

Coetzee was again left lamenting crucial mistakes after his team's 17-22 loss in Brisbane on Saturday, but he was proud of the effort that his players put into their final tour match.

"We played so well at times (against the Reds)... only for crucial mistakes to cost us again.

"I still believe that we have the ability to beat any team (we play against), unfortunately we're still making the same mistakes at crucial moments. It's been our trend, but it's something that we can rectify," he said.

Coetzee acknowledged that his team's dysfunctional line-out had made things difficult for them, but praised the players for securing a bonus point at the death.

"Our line-out let us down today and we made a few mistakes in trying to run the ball back from deep in the second half, but I cannot fault the players' effort... the effort is there.

"Not many teams can come back from 10-22 down against a Reds team in Brisbane and very nearly come away with a victory. We picked up two losing bonus points on this tour, which shows how close we've been on two occasions and, of course, we conceded late tries against the Chiefs and Brumbies to lose out on bonus points," he said.

The Stormers have 10 league matches to come, seven of which are at home between now and mid-July.

"We've played at home just once this year, in six games.

"Yes, it's been a tough tour and, yes, we were unable to come away with a win on tour, but we're all looking forward to getting home to our families, seeing familiar faces and building some momentum back at home at Newlands."
 

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Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
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