Trou­ble­some knee side­lines Hynes yet again

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

A RE­CUR­RING knee in­jury has again side­lined Queens­land Reds full­back Peter Hynes – but Reds coach Ewen McKen­zie stops short of de­scrib­ing it as ca­reer-threat­en­ing.

McKen­zie faces ar­guably his most chal­leng­ing week as a coach fol­low­ing Queens­land’s dis­as­trous 30-6 last round Su­per Rugby thrash­ing by NSW Waratahs in Syd­ney.

As he goes back to the draw­ing board with his Reds game­plan, McKen­zie must also con­tem­plate the loss of Hynes, cap­tain James Hor­will ( an­kle), Scott Hig­gin­botham ( calf), Rod Davies ( cheek­bone/ hip) and Ed­die Quirk ( ribs) ahead of Satur­day night’s away clash with bo­gey side ACT Brumbies. Hynes is his big­gest concern. More scans this week will de­ter­mine how long Hynes will be side­lined, but McKen­zie ad­mits the full­back is strug­gling men­tally.

‘‘ I am feel­ing for him at the mo­ment,’’ McKen­zie said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ You do the work, do the re­hab, get out there and have a re­cur­rence – it’s quite men­tally dif­fi­cult.

‘‘ It will take us a cou­ple of days to see ex­actly where he is at.’’

Asked i f i t c o ul d b e c a r e e r - threat­en­ing, McKen­zie said: ‘‘ He has had a few episodes – I know if you keep hav­ing a prob­lem it dis­tracts you big time.

‘‘ But what we have to do is in­ves­ti­gate it med­i­cally and at the mo­ment it looks like a sim­i­lar in­jury. We need to see if there is any other way to do it to get a per­ma­nent fix.

‘‘ But we have a very good med­i­cal crew who put a lot of time and ef­fort into that – the frus­tra­tion is felt by them too.’’

McKen­zie hoped Hor­will would be avail­able for their March 18 clash with the Mel­bourne Rebels fol­low­ing a fourth round bye af­ter scans showed an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age.

Scan re­sults this week will de­ter­mine the avail­abil­ity of his re­main­ing in­jury con­cerns.

The thump­ing loss to the Waratahs pro­vided a wake-up call for Queens­land – and it seems there will be no respite against the Brumbies.

T h e y h a v e n e v e r b e a t e n t h e Brumbies in Can­berra and only tasted vic­tory once against ACT – way back in 1998 – in 16 matches.

That hor­ror run does not look like chang­ing un­less McKen­zie tin­kers with a game­plan he ad­mits is not ‘‘ rel­e­vant’’ this sea­son, de­spite it earn­ing them a shock fifth plac­ing in 2010.

‘‘ They ( ACT) have been the most dif­fi­cult team for us over the last 15 years or so – we have strug­gled against them,’’ he said.

‘‘ Not only do we have our own chal­lenges in terms of get­ting a more rel­e­vant game, we also have to take on a team that has been our big­gest bo­gey.’’

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