Lions have a 'special talent' in the No.10 jersey
REACTION: Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen was full of praise for young flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse after his team’s narrow 37-39 loss to the Stormers on Saturday.
The 19-year-old pivot showed great composure in his first start for the Lions. His game management was outstanding and he contributed 12 points with the boot. He also produced a great offload which led to flank MJ Pelser’s try.
“Playing a game like this as a 19-year-old and just the way he played is really exciting,” said Van Rooyen.
“He has got a special gift and a special talent. More than him kicking the ball prodigiously, it’s just the confidence he brings and the way he organises everyone around him.
“I am really excited and really happy for him.”
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Van Rooyen was also pleased with his team’s scrumming performance against a powerful Stormers pack.
“We are proud of the scrum. We know that the Stormers have a very good scrum, so I think both front rows really played well.
“Someone like Asenathi [Ntlabakanye] playing that last 20 minutes at 22-years-old, that is invaluable experience that he is gaining there.
“The same with PJ Botha, who is also just 23. I think we fronted up well there and our system is working well,” the coach added.
It was a heart-breaking defeat for the Lions on Saturday as it took an 83-minute penalty from Tim Swiel to win the match for the visitors.
“It was still a spectacle. We are obviously hurting, but also again if you take the last minute out of the game we would have won, and I think there could have been a lot of praise for certain individuals and the team.
“The guys really fought and played well. I think that we were brave on attack.
“I think we managed to put them under good pressure with our kicking game and the execution was good. We were just not good enough in the end,” said Van Rooyen.