Last weekend Owen Franks and Flip Van Der Merwe had a horrible head clash that ended the night for the big Bulls second rower. On Saturday Franks did it again, this time against the Chiefs.
When tackling and colliding with Van Der Merwe of the Bulls, Crusaders prop Franks barely flinched. This time it was he who made the charge into Tanerau Latimer, and even though bandage and a bit of repair work was needed, he stayed on the field.
The collision happened directly from kick off, in the first passage of play, thus ending the night for Latimer who took the knock just 35 seconds into it. He has now been forced to miss the Chiefs’ two match tour of South Africa after suffering a concussion.
“We don’t think there’s anything broken but it was certainly a pretty significant head clash,” said coach Ian Foster. “We were probably one player short and Lats’ injury in that first minute changed the way we wanted to execute things.
“The last 15mins was the period they started to get a bit more dominant at the breakdown, whereas our plan was probably similar to theirs but we didn’t have an extra player to bring on at that time.” The Chiefs lost the game 34-16.
If something positive could come from it, it was the way in which Crusaders hooker Corey Flynn reacted, attending to the opposition player by turning him over with the help of Fritz Lee .
It was great to see, and while Flynn was actually involved in an unsavoury incident later in the match, that’s another story altogether, so credit should be given for his sporting gesture.