Rhodes did not return in the second half and was seen hobbling on a heavily strapped ankle as he joined his teammates in celebrating the victory on the field after the fulltime whistle. He will be out for a couple of weeks, with coach Allister Coetzee confirming the news via a press release from the team hotel in Auckland on Saturday.
“It’s very unfortunate for Mike as he’s been playing very good rugby since making his debut against the Cheetahs and he made a big impact against the Sharks, where he as man of the match, and also in the first half against the Hurricanes.
“Like I’ve said all season long, injuries are not good for continuity, but it’s the nature of the beast in rugby. Our mantra has always been not to concentrate on the injured players, but rather to worry about those players that are available to us.”
Armand was to have played for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, but instead he flew to Cape Town so he could, in a manner of speaking, pack for Auckland.
With Siya Kolisi, who was ruled out of the Hurricanes game at the 11th hour, expected back in training this week, the task of replacing Rhodes in the starting team for Friday’s crucial Super Rugby clash with the Blues at the North Shore Stadium in Albany is a relatively easy one – big Rynhardt Elstadt ended up wearing the No 6 against the Hurricanes but blindside flank is his position and he will slot easily into the No 7.
With Springbok Eben Etzebeth due back this week too and sure to add impact off the bench, the loss of Rhodes shouldn’t be seen as a major setback at this stage. Like Rhodes, Armand is equally comfortable at lock as he is on the side of the scrum and can be used there should it be required.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to call up someone like Don, who has been part of our squad all year long until an injury saw him drop out. He was also called up to our squad in Australasia last year. Since then he has become a regular in the Stormers and WP set-ups and was also a strong performer for us in the business end of the Currie Cup season.”
The only drawback is that Armand hasn’t played since injuring his ribs in the match against the Crusaders on Easter Saturday.
Who we really need back is Tiaan and Grant although i have to say our young flyhalf is not doing a bad job. Hope janjtes is not going to come back with his flash stuff and cost us. Deon Fouire is a brilliant 76 possibly the best in the country and is being wasted at hooker. Bezuidenhout could play there and loose trio , Fourie, Vermulen and Elstadt - very good internatioanl class loose trio.
wish ou alistair had more than one brain cell.