The Vodacom Stormers suffered a cruel injury blow in their first warm-up match for the Super 14 series when centre Corné Uys sustained a serous knee injury against Boland at Wellington on Saturday.
The Stormers won 72-10, but the game was overshadowed by the injury the talented Uys suffered late in the second half. Boland wing Alshaun Bock dangerously tackled the centre, who then had to be taken off on a stretcher.
Coach Rassie Erasmus afterwards said the injury was quite serious, expressing fears that Uys might be out for six weeks or even the entire season.
“I don’t know the extent of the injury yet, the doctors must still have a look, but it seems like a cruciate ligament tear. He could be out for a long time – in my opinion not shorter than six weeks or even the entire Super 14.
“It is a pity, because he played awesome rugby today and he worked hard on the training field.”
Good news for Stormers fans, however, is that captain Jean de Villiers should be ready for the next friendly, against a Vodacom WP XV at Newlands on 2 February.
Erasmus said De Villiers should by then have recovered from the bicep injury that troubled him thus far this season. Players such as Brian Mujati, Enrico Januarie, Wylie Human and Ross Skeate should also ready for consideration for the final warm-up match.
Springbok prop Eddie Andrews is still having back trouble and him and Uys are the only two players who would not be considered at this stage, added the coach.
Erasmus was not overly excited about the performance against Boland, although his charges comfortably won 72-10 and ran in nine tries in the process.
I don’t think we played great rugby, but at least the conditioning is what we wanted it to be. It was by no means picture perfect,” said the coach, who added all the players would have to lift their game a notch or two in the coming weeks.
“The great tries we scored and the line breaks we made are not the most important things, our attitude is. And here I can compliment 80-90% of the players for the way they approached the game.
“Boland’s tries came at the end of the halves and that shows our guys didn’t have a lack of attitude.”
The coach singled out centre Gcobani Bobo for his performance. The former WP Craven Week captain played his first game for the Stormers and scored two good tries. “He stood out in his first game and his attitude and skills were up to scratch.”