News on captain rubs salt in EP Elephants' wounds
REACTION: The Eastern Province Elephants suffered a major setback with the news that their captain and flyhalf Inny Radebe will play no further part in the preparation series.
After being thrashed 87-10 by the Bulls in Pretoria, head coach Peter de Villiers revealed that Radebe suffered a bad hand injury in the fixture.
“Our captain Inny fractured his hand in the first three minutes of the game,” said De Villiers. “He was actually very brave and played on.
“It is definitely fractured. He won’t play again in this competition, but then again we just have to make it work.”
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With Radebe out, De Villiers is hoping that some players in his squad will stand up and be leaders.
“Almost 50 percent of what we saw on the field [against the Bulls] was down to the lack of our mental strength at this level of the game.
“To work on that is going to be tough, but we know who the guys are that can stand up for themselves. That makes it a bit easier for us to go look for players who can fill in and fit in and make us a stronger team.
“We need three or four mentally strong players as a leadership group to take them forward when things do not go well,” De Villiers added.
The former Springbok coach knows that his team will have to be a lot more accurate on the field if they are to be competitive going forward.
“I don’t think the pack was that bad. I think we were actually good in the scrums.
“We lost a few line-outs, but we made a lot of mistakes and gave away too many penalties and they [Bulls] scored three tries off that in the first half. From there it was just one-way traffic,” said the coach.