Stormers may face depleted Chiefs

The Stormers could face a depleted Chiefs outfit on Saturday, after a number of players picked up injuries in the 26-all draw with the Bulls at the weekend.

The Chiefs have injury worries other than Sione Lauaki with three backs on restricted training this week ahead of the clash in Mt Maunganui, msnxtra.co.nz reported.

The bruising draw with the Bulls at the weekend has come at a high price – the result left the Chiefs struggling to make the play-offs as they sit 10 points adrift of the fourth placed Hurricanes, and it also cost them a group of key players.

Lauakai is the main victim with a torn pectoral muscle making him extremely doubtful to face the Stormers.

And there will be some concern over the midfield stocks as bumps and bruises take their toll. Sam Tuitupou is being troubled by a haematoma to a quadracep muscle that will see his training restricted.

And centre Niva Ta’auso has been ruled out of contact training after picking up a sore shoulder against the Bulls. That was his first match since the opening round when he was forced off against the Sharks in Durban with a serious ankle injury.

The Chiefs still have David Hill troubled by a calf injury that ruled him out of the match against the Bulls and versatile prop Deacon Manu remains on the sick list with gout.

They will still fancy their chances against the Stormers and the Cheetahs over the next two rounds despite the injury worries, before more demanding assignments against the Hurricanes, Waratahs and Blues.