Kefu cleared of serious spinal injury


Australia vice-captain Toutai Kefu is in doubt for the Wallabies' final Tri-nations match against New Zealand despite being cleared of a serious neck injury.

Kefu was diagnosed with spinal concussion after he was hit in the back of the neck during Saturday's 29-9 win over South Africa in Brisbane.

Although the injury was not as bad as initially feared, Kefu told reporters he was still in doubt for the August 16th clash with the All Blacks in Auckland.

"I've still got pins and needles in my left arm which is pretty uncomfortable," Kefu said. "I'll see a specialist on Thursday and he'll either clear me or won't clear me for the game in two weeks' time."

The loss of Kefu would be a major blow to Australia's chances of beating the New Zealanders on their home soil after they thrashed the Wallabies 50-21 in Sydney a week ago.

Kefu is the leader of the Australian forwards and the main ball runner in the pack and there is no obvious replacement for him. Australia broke a three-match losing streak with their 20-point win over the Springboks but Jones was far from impressed by the performance.

Centre Mat Rogers and flanker Phil Waugh both scored tries and Elton Flatley kicked five penalties and two conversions for a personal haul of 19 points but they squandered plenty of other opportunities.

The Springboks points all came from the boot of flyhalf Louis Koen but while Jones was pleased with the team's improved defence, he said the world champions needed to improve their finishing ahead of the World Cup.

"We should have scored at least two (tries) in the first half and probably one in the second half," Jones said.

"That's the difference between us playing well and playing as we are at the moment.In test match rugby when you get four or five opportunities you've got to convert a high percentage of those and we're just not converting them."