Rugby Union 2 years ago

Melbourne Rebels ravaged by injuries

  • Melbourne Rebels ravaged by injuries

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 20: Luke Jones of the Rebels releases the ball during a Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby training session at Ikon Park on April 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Rebels could be scrambling to field a fit squad to take on the Crusaders in the penultimate round of Super Rugby.

The Rebels' run of bad luck with injuries continued during their 57-31 loss to the Stormers at AAMI Park.

The Melbourne team lost both locks, Luke Jones and Lopeti Timani, to concussion during the first half putting them in doubt for the match in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon.

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With the Rebels' set piece already under immense pressure, the Stormers took advantage of the decimation of the forwards and ran away with the game in the final 15 minutes.

Hard-running centre Sefanaia Naivalu also left the field late in the match, with medical staff hopeful he was only suffering cramps while winger Jonah Placid took a head knock while scoring a try.

They join a bulging casualty ward that includes captain Nic Stirzaker (ankle), fullback Mike Harris (ankle), flanker Adam Thomson (back) and Tamati Ellison (hamstring).

Ellison is out for the season while coach Tony McGahan said none of the other players were certainties to recover in time for the Crusaders.

"We'll have to see where it is as they are all probably iffy at this stage," McGahan said.

"We were on thin stocks going into this game (against the Stormers) so if we take a couple more knocks we will be right on the edge to get 23 fit for next week."

McGahan acknowledged the task of beating the Crusaders at home would be even more difficult than usual after they fell 23-13 to the Chiefs, surrendering top spot on the hotly-contested New Zealand ladder.

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