Brodie Retallick's injury sparks online search

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sunday, 28 July 2019, 11:25AM
Retallick may miss the World Cup in September. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Retallick may miss the World Cup in September. (Photo / NZ Herald)

At around 8.30pm last night, New Zealand rugby fans collectively held their breath, then reached for their phones.

Brodie Retallick, one of the All Blacks best and most important players, was injured, 55 days out from the World Cup.

Retallick went down clutching a shoulder after being on the receiving end of a ruck cleanout during the 16-all draw against the Springboks at Westpac Stadium, and Kiwi fans were desperate for answers.

Five minutes after the big-man went off, New Zealand's google trends for 'dislocated shoulder' hit peak search interest.

Peak-popularity for the search was reached at 10.32pm with the interest over time remaining sporadic this morning.

Most searches for the term came from Wellington, closely followed by Waikato, Canterbury and then Auckland.

The terms 'Brodie Retallick', 'Rugby World Cup', 'Rugby World Cup 2019' and 'Brodie Retallick injury' were also breakout searches.

Searches for 'dislocated shoulder recovery time' was widely searched last night with peak-popularity taking place at 8.56pm.

Retallick was taken to hospital last night for scans on the shoulder and an update is expected this morning.

There was speculation on social media that if Retallick didn't suffer damage to the joint – and there is a fear that a fracture is involved – then he could be back within about six weeks which will put him in the frame for the All Blacks' first pool game against South Africa on September 21.

But if there is significant joint damage then surgery could be required and Retallick will be facing three to six months on the sideline.

Dane Coles said he couldn't help but watch as Retallick went down clutching his shoulder.

"I found myself watching him when he was down," Coles said. "Usually you can get on with things, but watching big Guz… he's one of those guys you want in your team and want to go into battle with. I was gutted for him.

"I don't know what the prognosis is. Hopefully it's best-case scenario. He's a tough man so maybe a needle will help. I speak for probably the whole group – we feel for the big lad because he's a good man and we'll be gutted if we lose him."

All of Retallick's teammates will feel the after effects of this test for days because it was, to put it politely, extremely challenging; the Boks defending superbly apart from a slip just before halftime and the All Blacks discovering new ways to drop the ball almost by the minute.

The visitors were sharp on attack too and while it took them late in the game to breach the defence they will take a fair bit of confidence into the first game of the World Cup against Steven Hansen's men. They've improved massively under coach Rassie Erasmus and that first pool game in Yokohama on September 21 has all the makings of a classic.

So while the All Blacks dodged a bullet against the Pumas last weekend, they couldn't this time, and it will feel like a loss. Their handling improved in the second half, with Aaron Smith, Dane Coles and Anton Lienert-Brown adding quality, but it needed to and there will be questions asked about their skill execution.

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