Seabelo Senatla, one of the finds of the 2014 Currie Cup season, has been laid low by an ankle injury which will keep him out of the Western Province side for at least two weeks.
The speedy wing who scored a try and had a hand in another during Province’s 23-18 win in Pretoria over the weekend, came down heavily after an aerial challenge for the ball in the second half.
“We’ll get the results of his scan on Tuesday but we suspect that he has bone bruising because he is in pain,” Province coach Allister Coetzee said on Monday in Bellville.
Senatla, a national team Sevens player, has been a revelation in the Province right wing berth since he returned with a gold medal from the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
His turn of speed has posed constant problems and he has been highly competitive when attacking breakdown play.
“His breakdown skills are unbelievable,” said Coetzee. “It’s not easy to replace him given his superb form. We will look to the replacement to cover all the basis in his absence. He is also sound on defence.”
More bad news is that Kenyan wing Willy Ambaka, who arrived in Cape Town for a probation stint with Province, has an ankle injury which is not likely to clear any time soon.
Ambaka is a Kenyan Sevens player and played for the French Top 14 outfit Lyon last season.
“The medical team has discovered that Willy has an injury and that he won’t be in the mix for a long time. It is a setback for us,” said Coetzee.
Fullback Dillyn Leyds, recruited from Australian Super Rugby Western Force franchise, had yet to arrive in Cape Town. He was expected to report for duty on Monday but Coetzee said they have been informed by the Force that the player would only arrive at the end of September.
Coetzee played down speculation about Senatla’s replacement but Pat Howard, a centre who had played wing previously, was the likely replacement.
“We have a number of options and one is Howard, who played on the wing when we played the Kings earlier this season.
“There is also Devon Williams, Michael van der Spuy as well as the SA Sevens player Justin Geduld, who plays fullback for our under-21 side but has experience on the wing.”
Top flight hooker Scarra Ntubeni had recovered fully from a calf muscle injury but Coetzee was not entirely happy with his match fitness.
Province host EP Kings on Friday night at Newlands, having moved three points clear at the top of the log, while the Kings are still looking for their first win of the season after four matches.