Injury Toll Mounts before 2009 Final Rematch. Muliaina Out

Round 8 of the Super 14 sees many of the teams resembling a virtual casualty ward of injuries. The Chiefs have been particularly hard hit through new injuries to key players, captain Mils Muliaina and playmaker Stephen Donald. They join All Blacks Aled de Malmanche, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Tanerau Latimer, Kevin O’Neill as well as props Nathan White and James McGougan on the Chiefs’ injury list. Coach Ian Foster will be hoping at least a few will be able to convince the medical staff they are fit to play. Mils Muliaina, a key figure in the Chiefs’s successful campaign last year, but a regular absentee this season could be absent from 3 to 6 weeks, or even longer pending the results of an x-ray. Muliaina will be anxious to get back on the field after seeing the form of fullbacks Isaia Toeava, Corey Jane, and even Israel Dagg from the other New Zealand Super 14 teams.

Other Super 14 teams are also feeling the pinch.

The Chiefs opponents this week, reigning champions the Bulls, have also lost 2 players after their loss to the Blues. Flanker Derick Kuun and centre Jaco Pretorius are both out of the 2009 grand final rematch against the Chiefs this week. The Bulls will be keen to prove their loss to the Blues was just a blip and regain their strangle hold on the competition.

Elsewhere, a broken thumb has removed Sharks have lost No 8 Ryan Kankowski for the rest of the Super 14.

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