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Injury another blow for Kahui

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Sportal.co.nz     14 May 2012     Getty Images

The powerhouse outside centre fell awkwardly in a tackle early in the second half, leaving the field immediately amidst a horror period for the Chiefs that included the game-deciding three-try burst in 10 minutes from the Reds.

Kahui's combination with Sonny Bill Williams had been one of the highlights of the season for the New Zealand Conference leaders and he had been one of the most dangerous performers in the Cheifs' 22-17 first-half effort.

"We'll get the shoulder scanned tomorrow [Monday], but the likelihood is it's the end of his season from a Super Rugby viewpoint," Rennie said.

"Richard had a big impact in the time he was on the field. I feel for him because he's a bloody top man, a big part of our leadership group and obviously the All Blacks were pretty keen on him playing there.

"It's disappointing for him, but knowing him he'll still have a bit to say about what goes on from here in regard to what we do on the track and helping out the young fellas."

Rennie admitted losing one of his leadership group would be a huge blow for his title-contending outfit, but was confident they'd have the depth to reshuffle and cover the loss, with Jackson Willison the most likely contender to slot into the starting line-up.

"[Willison's] been at the Chiefs for three or four years now and played a lot of footy, so it's a great opportunity," Rennie said.

"We've also got our fullback, Andrew Horrell, who is a 10 or a 12 that's been playing 15 because we've had some injuries back there, but hopefully we get some back so he's an option to play at 12.

"Sonny [Bill Williams] is quite comfortable playing 12 or 13."

Gracious in defeat, the Chiefs coach played down the significance of a refereeing blunder that saw Luke Morahan escape a yellow card late in the game for a lifting tackle on Sonny Bill Williams.

Referee Marius Jonker told Reds skipper Jasmes Horwill that a card would have been shown if any of the officials had sighted the number of the offending player, but Rennie said a penalty had been the right call.

"To be honest, he didn't deserve to be sinbinned," Rennie said.

"We watched it, thought there was nothing in it and we got a penalty so we were happy.

"If he had have been binned it could have been a big moment in the game, but it probably wasn't warranted."