Highlanders lose Pryor for Super Rugby Semi-final

The Highlanders will contest their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Waratahs in Sydney withouth back rower Dan Pryor due to injury.

Pryor dislocated his elbow in the Highlanders 24-14 qualifying victory over the Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday and had to leave the field in the 61st minute.

Highlanders medical staff gave confirmed that he will miss this weekend’s Semi-final in Sydney.

In other injury news for the Highlanders lock Alex Ainley aggravated a leg injury and centre Malakai suffered a scrape in his eye but both are expected to play the Waratahs.

“He’s (Pryor) a big loss for us and Alex Ainley’s played on a really crook knee, and he’s tweaked that again,” Joseph told Stuff.

“Malakai’s scratched his eye. Because it’s an eye there’s some sensitivity around the area but I think he will be fine.”

The Highlanders had already lost John Hardie for the qualifier with a rib complaint and Shane Christie has been battling with a hamstring issue.

Elliot Dixon can cover as an openside but prefers operating at No 6 and Gareth Evans is also more suited to playing on the blindside.

Joseph shuffled his back row for the Chiefs clash by switching Pryor to openside because Nasi Manu was available.

The Highlanders have already beaten the Waratahs this season (26-19 in Dunedin) but Joseph expects the Waratahs to try and intimidate them.

Joseph revealed that at half time against the Chiefs he reiterated the need for them to control their emotions.

“If we can concentrate a little bit better and don’t put ourselves in those positions where we can be handled off the ball, then we are going to have a lot better chance of staying out of the niggle,” he said.

“At the start of the game, when it was competitive, we got sucked into that a little bit but we adapted in the second half and come right and I think that’s a big part of why we won the game.”

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