Coles to miss Stormers game

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Lynn McConnell     20 Mar 2019     Getty Images

Having played five consecutive games, he is due to stand down to meet the All Blacks rest requirements. 

The side's front row depth will be needed as a result of injuries sustained in the 23-23 draw with the Chiefs on Friday.

There was concern for prop Toby Smith who has an ankle injury and was still in a moon boot awaiting an x-ray. Fellow prop Alex Fidow had been x-rayed for a shoulder injury but there was nothing serious in that and they would continue to work with him on his recovery.

Asked if the Chiefs game should have been played on Friday, in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, coach John Plumtree said possibly it could have been but everything had happened so quickly and there had possibly not been the time available in order to make that decision.

Dealing with the aftermath of the attacks, the team management were working to help any players who needed support in talking about the events which were something totally unexpected in New Zealand, he said.

"It was absolutely tragic what happened down there and mind-boggling for this country to have something like this happen here, incredible. We're not taking it for granted that players don't want to talk about it," he said.

The events had put rugby into perspective and after Friday's game the game had been drawn and everyone was following the latest news updates and talking about it and rugby hadn't really been on their minds.
"We were disappointed with aspects of the game. We felt we had opportunities to win that. In the 74th minute we had a scrum in the right-hand corner, an opportunity to build some pressure and either get a three, a seven or a five and we knocked the ball on.

"And that pretty much summed up some of the opportunities we had through the game. We've just got to tidy that up.

"We're creating enough. I thought our forwards played well enough but we just haven't nailed those opportunities. We defended pretty well for most of the game, a little bit disappointed with some of the first half, but generally we felt like we let that one slip," he said.

South African lock Andries Ferreira has returned home. Called up as a replacement for Sam Lousi, he suffered a recurrence of an injury he had last year and it would have taken too long for him to recover so they decided to run with the resources they had.

He was expected to make a full recovery from the injury.

Plumtree said, "It was disappointing for us as Andries is an excellent player who had the potential to play an important part in our campaign."

He did not rule out the prospect of Ferreira being involved with the side in the future.