Injuries rife in southern sides

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Southland has a full casualty ward while Otago has been forced to change every position in its forward pack this week.

Injuries are the scourge of the modern player but they seem to be occurring often among Otago and Southland players this season.

Injuries can be attributed a lot to luck - just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Highlanders in 2017 had a long list of injured players with a dozen out of the picture at one stage. The following year the side had a good run and had few players sitting on the bank.

This year, Otago has had to bring in players and run them in positions in which they might not usually play.

Southland has 10 players out for its game today against Counties-Manukau.

Otago coach Ben Herring said the side had picked up plenty of injuries.

Some thought that in the Mitre 10 Cup, some players were not as accurate and it was slightly slower than Super Rugby and that led to more collisions and players getting into awkward positions. Collisions tended to be messy while the style of play led to the ball being in play for longer. That tested fitness levels and, as players got tired, more injuries would occur.

Players are also getting to the end of the season and niggles they have carried right through the season catch up with them.

Otago and the Highlanders play half their games under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium where statistics show the ball is in play for more than games played outdoors.

New Zealand Rugby had decided this year to drop the midweek round from the competition to give players a break as playing three games in a tight timeframe had made it tough.

But as players get bigger, stronger and faster then collisions are going to hurt more and the wreckage is going to be significant.

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