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Ken Borland

Hendricks looks a good fit for Bulls No.12 jersey 0

Posted on October 07, 2020 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White wants physicality and an ability to exploit space from his inside centre and Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks looks a good fit to continue in the number 12 jersey when they open their Super Rugby Unlocked campaign against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

White sprang a surprise two weekends ago when he chose Hendricks at inside centre in their SuperFan Saturday match against the Sharks, but he was outstanding as the Bulls backline ripped their opponents apart in the first half. Without wanting to give away their selection at the start of the week, Hendricks said on Monday that his focus would now be on playing in midfield.

“It was a good experience against the Sharks although I started my career at number 13 for Boland and also played centre for the Blitzbokke. Coach Jake said he wanted to try lots of combinations and if it works, then it works, so my focus is there now. I’ll play anywhere in the backline, except scrumhalf or flyhalf. But I took a lot of confidence out of that game.

“The coach wants us to express ourselves in our positions. All teams want a big, physical No.12, but coach Jake also wanted me to get momentum and play some rugby. He said if I can find space then I must get it, be confident and just play if there’s space. We have incredible outside backs and we just want to get the ball in their hands,” Hendricks said.

It’s difficult to know what to expect from lowly Griquas on Saturday, but the men from Kimberley did reach the Currie Cup semi-finals last year and hammered the Bulls 37-15 at Loftus Versfeld in one of the lowest points of the season for Hendricks and his team. They competed well against the Free State Cheetahs in a warm-up game at the weekend, only fading at the death to lose 31-21.

“Griquas will be coming to Pretoria to make a point again, I have no doubt, but we prepare the same very week whether we are playing the Sharks, Lions, Cheetahs or Griquas. We’re quite happy with the way we played against the Sharks, we learnt a lot from that game and we did a lot of things right. We wanted to throw the ball around and we showed that the whole backline has pace.

“Coach Jake is a very intelligent and smart coach and it’s an honour and privilege to work with him. He has a different coaching style and he wants you to feel comfortable in the team. He has a winning mindset, which we need after the tough times we’ve been through, but now we have that mindset when we train as well. And he really backs the individuals in the team,” Hendricks said.

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