Tahs wary of unpredictable Stormers

Keo.co.za brings you the latest from Australia’s Super 14 sides.

Tahs wary of unpredictable Stormers

Lote Tuqiri says the Waratahs don’t know what to expect from the hot-and-cold Stormers this Saturday.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuqiri acknowledged the threat of the Cape-based outfit, but said their lack of consistency made it difficult to predict an outcome.

‘You never know what you are going to get when you play the Stormers,’ he said. ‘It depends on how they’re feeling. They are a bit like the Blues. They can come out and put 40 or 50 on you, but the last few years, our games have been quite close.

‘We’re similar to them in how we play in defence, and I think it will eventually revolve around which team actually turns up on the night. This year we have been quite consistent in that area, and hopefully that will help us.’

Tuqiri identified Springbok centre and Stormers captain Jean de Villiers as the danger man.

‘They obviously have guys like Jean de Villiers, who is one of the premier centres in the world. So he’ll have to be watched.

‘But, in saying that, there may be areas around him where we can target them in defence. He’s that good a player that he can pick plays off in defence. Still, there might be some chances. We’ll just have to wait and see.’

Tahs scrumhalf Luke Burgess will not train until Thursday due to a corked thigh, but is expected to play on Saturday.

Brumbies forward in coma

ACT Brumbies forward Shawn Mackay is in a medically induced coma in a Durban hospital after being hit by a vehicle in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mackay suffered spinal injuries and a broken leg as well as multiple facial fractures and lacerations after being hit by an armed response vehicle while crossing a road.

The accident occurred at about 4am in Durban when Mackay and a number of other Brumbies players were returning to the team hotel following a night out after their Super 14 loss to the Sharks on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, suffered a cervical spinal fracture and dislocation in the accident.

He was in a critical but stable condition and was expected to remain in an induced coma as he undergoes further medical treatment.

Brumbies team doctor Warren McDonald, who was working with staff at Durban’s St Augustine’s Hospital, said Mackay was receiving around the clock intensive care and treatment.

Brumbies management has been in contact with Mackay’s family and partner and are arranging to fly them to Durban as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies’ team room was robbed during their stay at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban. Laptops and cellphones were reportedly taken and there was no forced entry into the room.

Management said that despite the robbery, the team would remain at the hotel.

Ulster sign Horua

Force loose forward Tamaiti Horua has signed a two-year contract with Irish club Ulster.

Reports from Ireland confirm the 26-year-old will leave the Force and Australia at the end of the Super 14. Horua made his debut for the Brumbies in 2002 before moving to the Force last year.

Horua will join Ulster for their pre-season training this May.

Mowen’s perfect timing

Blindside flanker Ben Mowen’s impact this season has reassured the Waratahs that if Rocky Elsom remains in Ireland they have sufficient depth to cover his position.

Mowen joined the Waratahs from the Reds after the 2007 season, but last year failed to add to the one Super 14 cap he earned back in 2006 against the Sharks. But the 24-year-old has played in all seven games for the Waratahs this year – starting in five.

Mowen’s rise has been a timely one for the Waratahs amid reports Elsom will not return to the franchise as planned, but remain with Leinster on a lucrative new deal.

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey is still keen to secure Elsom’s services. But with Mowen establishing himself at No 6, and with Dean Mumm able to cover at openside, the loss of Elsom might not be as big a blow as first thought.

‘We have both Dean and Ben able to play at that position,’ Hickey said yesterday. ‘There is a lot of competition from the northern hemisphere. We would like to get Rocky back [but] sometimes these things don’t come to fruition. So you have to make sure you have got that cover.

‘With Dean and Ben we feel we have really good coverage at six.’

This thread will be updated throughout the day.