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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Juan De Jongh's big hit breaks Ben Tapuai's collarbone

The Reds' nightmare injury toll continued this weekend as they lost another two backs during the 23-13 loss to the travelling Stormers. One of the injuries came from this great hit by Stormers center Juan De Jongh.

The Stormers got their season back on track with another win, the first by a South African team in Brisbane for three years. While they themselves were missing Springboks Shalk Burger, Jean De Villiers, and Andries Bekker to injury, it's the Reds that have been hit hardest this season.

With Quade Cooper still out and a string of backup playmakers injured, the Reds were relying on young Sam Lane, from Cape Town and playing against some old school mates, to steer the ship.

That plan went belly-up in the first few minutes of the game as he badly damaged his knee when attempting a jinking step. He is set to undergo his second knee reconstruction in a year.

"Sam has done his anterior and lateral ligaments. It couldn't get much worse for a knee," said Reds caoch Ewen McKenzie. Five minutes later centre Ben Tapuai hobbled off after he was smashed by little Juan De Jongh, owing no favours to the proverbial hospital pass from Radike Samo.

"You lose two backs in the first 10 minutes and it's a challenge. We fought pretty hard and still had our moments but were not polished enough to take them," added McKenzie, who said that they'll have to go looking for players again, something they've become accustomed to this season.

The good news is that Digby Ioane, who was out with suspension for a dangerous tackle, will be back next week. Lane however will be out for the rest of the season, and Tapuai out for 10 weeks with a broken collarbone, ruling him out of possible selection for the Wallaby's midyear Tests.

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