Skeate unlikely to tackle Blues

PUBLISHED: April 4, 2006

Vodacom Stormers lock Ross Skeate is likely to miss Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Blues in Auckland because of a hip injury.

Skeate, one of the Stormers most consistent performers this season, had to leave the field in Friday’s narrow victory over the Western Force in Perth.

Coach Kobus van der Merwe admitted that the injury is serious enough for Skeate to sit out the next game. “Our only injury worry is Ross. He has a hip injury and we might look to rotate at lock.”

The coach, however, proclaimed himself happy witht he performance of Gerrie Britz, who made his first start of the season in place of Andries Bekker. Bekker would now probably come back into the starting lineup against the Blues.

Van der Merwe is wary of the home side, who hit their straps in an impressive performance against the Bulls last weekend.

“They beat the Bulls quite easily and are producing the goods at the right time. The newspapers here are talking about the Blues possibly making the semi-finals. Their problem has basically been a lack of consistency,” said Van der Merwe.

“They scrummed the Bulls and took them on physically. The Bulls could never get momentum.”

Van der Merwe singled out the defence as a worrying factor. “There is room for vast improvement. We’ll be working hard on it this week. The Blues ripped the Bulls to shreds,” commented the coach.