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Ken Borland

Ospreys overwhelmed by Bulls’ physicality & clinical hat-trick by Hendricks

Posted on June 23, 2022 by Ken

A hat-trick of second-half tries by Cornal Hendricks carried the Bulls to a brilliant 38-31 win over the Ospreys in their United Rugby Championship match in Swansea on Friday night, with the determined Welsh side overwhelmed by the physicality and clinical finishing of the visitors.

The Bulls led 12-10 at halftime and were not flattered as they looked in firm control of proceedings, being well-served by their powerful ball-carriers and the presence of Hendricks and Harold Vorster in midfield, until a dreadful blunder by fullback Canan Moodie inside his 22 gifted Ospreys an important try.

But Hendricks then stamped his mark on proceedings in the second half, obliterating the Ospreys backline, which included the highly-rated George North as his opposite number, with several knifing runs. His tries in the 47th and 66th minutes were provided by young Moodie, who more than made up for his early mistake by counter-attacking well and showing beautiful judgement when it came to the timing of his passes.

Just three minutes before completing his hat-trick, Hendricks rounded off a prolonged, patient build-up by the Bulls, featuring big carries by outstanding forwards Marcell Coetzee and Gerhard Steenekamp, when he sliced through the line again to score.

Hendricks’ hat-trick meant the job had been done for the Bulls, with a 38-17 lead and the bonus point in the bag, in terms of doing all they could to secure a home quarterfinal.

But Ospreys kept fighting in admirable fashion and were rewarded by two late tries which earned them two bonus points. By doing that, they ensured Scarlets have to beat the Stormers on Saturday to win the Welsh Shield and earn a place in the European Champions Cup.

A team’s fortunes in knockout rugby depend on your ability to convert your opportunities and Bulls coach Jake White will be delighted with how clinical his team were in the first half.

In the first quarter, they were in the Ospreys’ 22 twice and scored on both occasions, through wing Madosh Tambwe and then by flyhalf Chris Smith, who showed sharp footwork and thinking on the tryline.

With the Sharks losing to Ulster, the Bulls rose to third on the log and are in line for a home quarterfinal, providing one of Munster (v Leinster) or the Stormers lose on Saturday.


Bulls: Tries – Madosh Tambwe, Chris Smith, Canan Moodie, Cornal Hendricks (3). Conversions – Smith (4).

Ospreys: Tries – Jac Morgan, Luke Morgan, Sam Parry, Luke Morgan. Conversions – Gareth Anscombe (4). Penalty – Anscombe.

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