Grim injury news for Seabelo Senatla after Bundee Aki's red card clear-out
"It's done a serious injury to Senatla."
The Stormers may have defeated Connacht, on Saturday, but victory came at a cost to star winger Seabelo Senatla.
The Stormers star was left in a heap after a Bundee Aki clear-out attempt that saw him take a hit to the top of the head, and left him in a crumpled heap. Aki saw red for the collision, but angrily argued his case.
"There is contact to the head, so we need to protect players, bottom line. So, it’s a red card," Connacht director of rugby Andy Friend told John Fallon, after the game.
Friend contested that the winger was 'not supporting his own body weight' but agreed that Aki should not have driven into his head as he was attempting to clear his opponent out.
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) September 24, 2022
Seabelo Senatla set for long injury lay-off
As Bundee Aki argued his case with Italian referee Gianluca Gnecchi, after the red card was flashed in his direction, Seabelo Senatla was down getting treatment from the Stormers medical staff.
Aki needed to be guided off the pitch by Connacht captain Jarrad Butler after protesting to the referee with the following:
"Where do you want me to go? Where do you want me to clear?"
The sending off also saw a Tom Farrell try, which happened later in the sequence of play, ruled out. Stormers then put the hammer down and scored two tries in quick succession to settle what was a close contest.
Following the game, Stormers head coach John Dobson sympathised with Aki while stressing how damaging the incident had proved, for his player:
"It's done a serious injury to Senatla,” Dobson said.
"I feel a bit sorry for Aki, because I know what he’s trying to do. It’s tough, but we can’t have Senatla out for the season."
In the aftermath of that Stormers win, the South African winger posted a message for his Instagram followers:
However, South Africa Rugby Magazine has now reported that Seabelo Senatla has indeed suffered a significant injury and will be out 'four to six months'.
The 29-year-old has international experience with South Africa Sevens and their 'A' team but has been in such good form that he would have been pressing for November tour selection with the Springboks.