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Thread: Castle shocker

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    Castle shocker

    11:10am Tuesday 29th September 2009



    NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have been rocked by the news that prop Ben Castle will be out until the new year.

    The New Zealander had an operation yesterday for a torn bicep and will not be able to play for at least three months.

    It is a huge blow for the Dragons especially as Castle has yet to play in a competitive fixture for them. His only appearance was in the pre-season friendly at Coventry in late August.

    He damaged the bicep during that game but was thought to be improving until it suddenly worsened and a scan on visiting a specialist revealed the full extent of the damage.
    Castle was brought in during the summer as a replacement for Rhys Thomas who left the Dragons to join Welsh rivals the Scarlets.

    He is a tight head specialist who joined the Dragons via French club Toulon and Australian Super 14 side, Perth-based Western Force.

    A philosophical rugby manager Robert Beale said, “It is very unfortunate, but there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s the game we’re in.

    “It went in the game against Coventry and we thought it was responding to treatment, but then it stopped improving and a scan revealed it was torn or ruptured. He’s had surgery and he won’t be able to play for three months.”
    The absence of Castle is even more painful for the Dragons after the scrum problems they have been experiencing this season.

    Compatriot and Dragons captain Tom Willis, who hasn’t played since the opening league game against Ulster, will not be fit for Saturday’s match against Connacht at Rodney Parade as he still hasn’t recovered from his torn calf muscle.
    Also out is his normal deputy Luke Charteris, who burst blood vessels behind an eye when he was struck by the ball against Leinster just over two weeks ago.
    They are both struggling to make the Dragons’ opening Heineken Cup-tie of the season against Gloucester at Kingshom a week on Friday.
    But brighter news is that centres Matthew Watkins and Rhodri Davies came through unscathed playing for Newport against Bedwas in the Welsh Premiership last Saturday.
    They had operations in the summer, new signing Watkins on a hip and Davies on an ankle, and should be in line for their first appearances of the season for the Dragons against Connacht.
    Bedwas prop Phil Price, formerly of the Ospreys academy, played against Newport after being out with a knee injury and could be called on.
    Flanker Gavin Thomas, who missed the Munster game with a rib injury, is expected to return while stand-in captain Ashley Smith, who went off with an eye injury, should also be fit.
    Meanwhile, Dragons coach Paul Turner believes a courageous first half performance against Munster gives them plenty to build on for the visit of Connacht.
    “I thought Munster were pretty clinical. We probably should have been in the lead at half-time, we had some gilt-edged chances but didn’t take them - O’Gara just got his hand to Ashley’s pass and Tom Riley was nearly through from Joe Bearman’s run,” he said.
    But he admitted the second half was a different story: “We spoke before the game about not giving them any chances to build on but we gave them one after just five minutes of the second half.
    “I thought a few decisions went against us but they were pretty ferocious in the contact area which was difficult to referee. Ultimately the pressure told and it was unbelievable how quickly the game went away from us.
    “With players like Jean de Villiers and Doug Howlett, they are pretty potent behind the scrum.
    “I thought (after scoring so soon in the second half) they sensed blood. It is the sign of a good side.
    “I am disappointed for the players. It was a huge effort considering we came here without the likes of Tom Willis, Luke Charteris, Matthew J Watkins and Gavin Thomas, but it certainly gives us something tangible to build on,” he said.
    And hooker Duane Goodfield, who replaced Steve Jones in the second half, refused to be disheartened.
    He said: “It’s not an easy place to come and some things just didn’t go our way. We did feel a shock was on the cards at half-time.
    “Our scrum was under pressure - Tony Buckley is 20 stone - and they have a very big pack.
    “But I think we are getting better and better and there is a feeling of confidence in the squad. We need to go for it now.”

    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/spo...astle_shocker/

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    Champion welshrugbyfan's Avatar
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    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/spo...astle_shocker/

    An article from the argus on a western force web site, unreal.

    I used to walk to the shop to buy it every day for my parents when I was a nipper.

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