Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
8 Jun 2022
7:05 am

Call it belief: Hendricks so sure Bulls won’t be culled he packed 2 bags

Ken Borland

'Next week we will either be playing in Cape Town or Ulster, or I will stay here. I have packed my extra undies.'

Cornal Hendricks is all smiles about the Bulls' prospects. Picture: Gareth Everett/Gallo Images

Call it belief or blind optimism, but Bulls star Cornal Hendricks is so sure that his team will not be culled from the United Rugby Championship in this weekend’s semi-final against Leinster that he packed enough clothes for two weeks on the road.

If the Bulls do manage to upset favourites Leinster in Dublin on Friday night, then they will either travel to Cape Town to take on the Stormers, or make a short hop from Dublin to Belfast to play Ulster, depending on who wins the other semi-final on Saturday.

Also read: Bulls relieved to progress after unexpected drop goal in URC thriller

But the 34-year-old Hendricks is adamant he ain’t going back to Pretoria next week.

“You can’t have that mindset where you are thinking that you’re going to finish second. I even packed two bags for this trip because, whatever happens, I’m not going back home to Pretoria next week,” Hendricks stated.

“Next week we will either be playing in Cape Town or Ulster, or I will stay here. I have packed my extra undies.

“We honestly have the belief that we can be winners. It’s going to be a tight battle and the team that makes the right decisions on the day will end up winning.

“We are only going to get a few chances and we must take them to win. Leinster have a lot of internationals, but our team has grown so much, we are a different team now,” Hendricks said.

Best combination

Leinster centres Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are probably the best centre combination in the competition, but Hendricks rates his partner Harold Vorster very highly and it should be an intriguing midfield clash. The Bulls know they need to be slowing down the Leinster tempo to ensure they don’t run amok in midfield.

“Henshaw and Ringrose are quality players and they have certainly earned respect,” Hendricks said. “But we’ve got Harold Vorster, I have a lot of confidence in him and I’m not worried about facing them.

“We’re looking forward to the battle, we are ready, we’ve done our homework. We expect Leinster to run the ball, but they always have a good balance between kicking and running.

“The fact they scored 12 tries against Glasgow Warriors last weekend indicates the need for us to be physical and to slow down the pace of their game.

“Before that, La Rochelle were very physical against Leinster in the Champions Cup final, they slowed the game down and stopped them getting quick ball at the ruck,” Hendricks said.

Read more: Leyds, Rhule star in La Rochelle’s dramatic Champions Cup final win