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Injury report: Stormers admit Bok's season could be over

By Jan De Koning
Deon Fourie of DHL Stormers leaves the field injured during the Investec Champions Cup, Round of 16 match between DHL Stormers and La Rochelle at DHL Stadium on April 06, 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The maxim says: ‘Adding insult to injury’. For the Stormers, it was more a case of adding injury to insult. The price they paid for their heroics against two-time defending European Cup champions La Rochelle has been costly.

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Two key players suffered knee injuries and three others suffered concussion.

The French giants fought back from 0-13 down at half-time to defeat the Stormers 22-21 in an extraordinary Champions Cup Round of 16 match.

In their pool stage encounter in December, the South African team defeated La Rochelle on the same ground by a score of 21-20 – with flyhalf Manie Libbok slotting a clutch conversion for the winner.

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Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson gives the kind of injury update no team wants

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Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson gives the kind of injury update no team wants

On Saturday in their Round of 16 face-off the Stormers nearly produced the same outcome – only this time Libbok’s last-minute conversion – which would have given his side another heroic win – drifted well wide of the uprights in a strong and swirling wind.

It saw La Rochelle advance to the quarterfinal, as they continue their search for a third straight title.

For the Stormers, there was some concerning news.

Investec Champions Cup

Pool 1
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Bordeaux
4
3
1
0
17
2
Bulls
4
3
1
0
15
3
Lyon
4
2
2
0
12
4
Saracens
4
2
2
0
10
5
Connacht
4
1
3
0
6
6
Bristol
4
1
3
0
5
Pool 2
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Toulouse
4
4
0
0
20
2
Harlequins
4
3
1
0
15
3
Bath
4
3
1
0
15
4
Racing 92
4
1
3
0
8
5
Ulster
4
1
3
0
5
6
Cardiff Rugby
4
0
4
0
3
Pool 3
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Northampton
4
4
0
0
18
2
Exeter Chiefs
4
3
1
0
13
3
Glasgow
4
2
2
0
10
4
Munster
4
1
2
1
9
5
Bayonne
4
1
2
1
8
6
Toulon
4
0
4
0
2
Pool 4
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Leinster
4
4
0
0
19
2
Stormers
4
3
1
0
14
3
La Rochelle
4
2
2
0
12
4
Leicester
4
2
2
0
9
5
Sale
4
1
3
0
6
6
Stade Francais
4
0
4
0
2

Utility forward Deon Fourie suffered a “serious” knee injury.

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He was taken from the field on a mobile stretcher in the 39th minute – with his replacement, Marcel Theunissen, yellow-carded in the 59th minute.

Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson said it is not the more serious anterior cruciate ligament injury, but confirmed to Rugby 365 that it is “serious”.

“It could be the [end of his] season,” the Stormers boss added.

Wing Leolin Zas also has a ‘reasonably serious’ knee injury, but still has to go for a scan.

Speaking about the three concussion cases – utility forward Ben-Jason Dixon, lock and captain Salmaan Moerat, as well as replacement loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani – Dobson said they will follow protocol.

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Given this usually results in a two-week lay-off, all three are in doubt for the United Rugby Championship Round 14 outing against Ospreys in Cape Town in a fortnight.

The Stormers – fifth on a congested table, with just five points between the Cape Town franchise and the Lions in 11th place – Ospreys and Leinster in the next two rounds.

Then they hit the road – facing the Dragons and Connacht away – before hosting the Lions in a potentially decisive final round of league action.

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