Injuries mount for Reds
The Queensland Reds' injury crisis has worsened with winger Luke Morahan expected to miss four weeks with a hamstring injury.
The 21-year-old sustained the problem during Saturday's 24-21 win against the Western Force - a match the Reds entered already without several key players. But there was better news for fellow winger Rod Davies, who was taken off early in the Force game with a shoulder injury, as the problem is less severe than first feared.
"He (Davies) has jarred his shoulder. There is some optimism that he might be available next week," Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said. "It didn't look too good (initially), but we'll wait and see."
With the likes of Anthony Faingaa, Digby Ioane, Ben Lucas and Beau Robinson already on the sidelines, fresh injury concerns were the last thing the Reds needed ahead of their vital match against the Chiefs next Saturday.
But McKenzie said he was confident his side could overcome the injuries and secure a top-two spot, which includes a bye in the first round of the finals, with victory over the Chiefs.
"We'll just go to the well again and we'll find a solution locally," he said. "We'll be finding some players and getting them incorporated, so that will be part of the process. There's a lot of motivation in next week's game. They're a good side that we're playing and we've got work to do.
"If we could get into the right territory, you get a week off which might allow a couple of players who are injured to come back, which would be nice. But that's a sideshow there - it's really just about getting a result against the Chiefs. I think everyone understands the logistical challenges of the competition. If you don't have to travel, it makes a big difference."
Queensland looked set to suffer consecutive losses for the first time this season and have their top-two hopes seriously dented when they trailed the Force in the closing stages, but a Dom Shipperley try in the 78th minute rescued them.
Reds captain James Horwill said the way his side fought back was an impressive show of character.
"I think the belief the team has in their ability and their ability to perform under pressure is something that is fantastic to be a part of," he said. "At no stage did we not think we could get the win, which is something which comes with time."