Injuries threatening Waratahs' run home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injuries threatening Waratahs' run home

By Adrian Warren 25/04/2010 06:12:46 PM Comments (0)

A mounting injury toll in his front row is causing headaches for Waratahs coach Chris Hickey in their charge to the Super 14 rugby finals.

Hickey was without the services of Wallabies prop Benn Robinson (forearm) and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau (shoulder) for Saturday's 19-12 win over the Brumbies at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Their replacements were out of action on Sunday, Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu with a torn calf and Adam Freier a damaged hamstring.

Kepu will be out for a month and Freier, playing his first Super game of the season following a back injury, is likely to be out for at least two weeks.

"The injury toll is mounting," Hickey said after the hard-earned victory kept NSW in fifth spot, just one point behind the fourth-placed Reds.

Robinson, Polota-Nau and centre Rob Horne (buttock) will all be assessed before the team leaves on Wednesday for their clash with the Highlanders in Invercargill on Friday.

"With Benn it's about the healing of those fractures and how he gets his grip strength back," Hickey said.

"With Tatafu he will do some contact work and tackling. He had a medical today and he came through that OK so we are feeling a bit optimistic there.

"Rob Horne will run tomorrow (Monday). We have to reassess him after he runs, he will go through a set of probably anywhere between 10 and 20 50 metre sprints."

Hickey emphasised there was no way his team would take the 12th-placed Highlanders lightly despite their poor record of just two wins from 10 games this season.

"If you are a little bit complacent with any team in this competition you face losing, so there certainly won't be any complacency going down to Invercargill," Hickey said.

NSW just failed to make the finals last year despite winning their last three games but Hickey felt things would be better this year because of the draw.

The Waratahs last three fixtures are all against teams below them, while all the sides above them have trickier draws.

"What we have to focus on is winning those last three matches, a lot of the teams, the Stormers and the Bulls and the Crusaders have all got to play each other," Hickey said.

"We can't worry about that, we've just got to make sure we turn up each week and put a good game on the park and if we do that, the rest of the draw could work for us."

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