South Africa may have guaranteed their place in the Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-finals but coach Peter de Villiers had plenty of reasons for a restless night after the match against Samoa at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.
Rugby News Service, www. rugbyworldcup.com
The Springboks battled hard for their 13-5 win against a bruising Samoan side with the physicality of the match taking its toll on de Villiers’ men.
“Frans Steyn is likely to go home,” he said. “His shoulder isn’t that good. The doctor will confirm it 100 per cent this morning, but it’s 95 per cent that he’s on his way home and that is a big blow for us.”
The South African coach said he was reluctant to mention the seriousness of the left-shoulder injury to his inside centre because he was unsure of who he would call on to fill the gap.
“I was lying awake on a replacement,” he said. “What do we need really? That is what we have to look at now.
“I still have to make a few calls and see.”
De Villiers acknowledged there were other players who looked worse for wear in the wake of the match, however the coach is confident there are no other serious injuries in his squad.
“Bryan (Habana), JP (Pietersen), all those kind of guys they’ve got battle scars and that’s all. Presuming they can recover quick enough to take their places this coming week.”
While the Springbok coach is confident Frans Steyn will be the only long-term casualty from South Africa’s final Pool D match, he rued his team’s misfortunes in collecting injuries in the same places.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with us,” he said. “When we get an injury in one position we get it in one position. We had a lock, and suddenly we lost three wings in one game.
“When Lady Luck turns her back on us, she turns it properly on us.”