The winless Chiefs have just been dealt yet another nasty blow – this time in the form of a shoulder injury sustained by Solomon Alaimalo. Worst of all is that it’s the type of injury that will leave the team without its star left wing for the rest of the Super Rugby Aotearoa season.
Alaimalo on Sunday during the Chiefs’ game against the Blues dislocated his left shoulder when said shoulder was landed on by Caleb Clarke from the opposing team. The almost surreal collision of bodies left 24-year-old Alaimalo, one of the few try-scorers in the 21-17 loss against the Blues, practically incapacitated.
The body-crash was in all likelihood not at all on purpose or malicious, but it can certainly be said that it had indeed been somewhat reckless. So much so that it justified at least a yellow card and a Chiefs penalty start – not that any of these were awarded in favour of the losing team.
The really negative after-effect of the injury is that it now robs Alaimalo of an entire season. The young player has spent his time switching between playing wing and playing fullback and has to date played a total of 47 games for the Chiefs. He played his debut Chiefs-game in 2017.
The injury is very much an example of the potential body-brutal nature of a competition such as Aotearoa. But more than that, or at least to Warren Gatland’s team, it may very well mean ending the season on an even lower rung than initially expected – if this is indeed even possible.
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