The struggling Stormers midfield won’t have to contend with the prospect of former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga this weekend. Umaga flew home on Sunday and could be out for the remainder of the Vodacom Super 14.
Umaga lasted less than 20 minutes against the Cheetahs before injuring a knee. The injury is serious and there are fears in the Canes camp that Umaga won’t play again this season. The injury follows the loss of another All Black midfielder Conrad Smith, who broke his leg in week two of the tournament.
The Canes, 25-10 after after 55 minutes, lost the plot in Bloemfontein to be beaten 27-25 by the Cheetahs. Some in their squad cited altitude as a factor, but Jerry Collins was not among them.
The New Zealand hard man was frank in his assessment.
“We were just not good enough to win it,” he told the media. “We did enough to win the game, but then let them back into it.”
Canes stand-in skipper Andrew Hore said the Canes would take the small consolation of having gained one bonus point, although he conceded it should have been four or five points in Bloemfontein.
The Canes play the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend.