Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White has defended his determination to subject teenager Jan-Hendrik Wessels at tighthead prop of their heavy loss to the Pumas this previous Sunday.
White raised eyebrows when he named 19-year-old Wessels at tighthead regardless of enjoying most of his youth rugby at loosehead prop.
Whereas Wessels’ 120kg body would theoretically make him excellent for a tighthead, his lack of expertise within the place was uncovered in Nelspruit as he was given a troublesome time within the scrum by reverse quantity Morgan Naude because the Pumas went on to say a 44-14 bonus-point victory.
Talking post-match, the Bulls head coach and director of rugby mentioned the expertise might truly serve to energy Wessels’ psychological resolve.
‘I’ll freely admit that I had hoped Jan-Hendrik would carry out higher than he did,’ White defined. ‘Nevertheless, he earned his stripes on this match.
‘He’s a child from Gray School, so I’d enterprise to say that he hasn’t tasted many defeats in his life earlier than. It was a tough day for him, however it’s important to earn your stripes.
‘There isn’t a higher place to try this than at Mbombela Stadium, in opposition to an achieved aspect just like the Pumas,’ White added.
The Bulls did have a much more skilled tighthead in 30-year-old Marcel van der Merwe on the bench, however the Springbok has struggled to seek out his rhythm within the scrums since returning to Pretoria from French membership Toulon.
‘It’s a tough dynamic with him in the intervening time,’ White mentioned on Van der Merwe’s type. ‘He has needed to adapt to fairly just a few combos to play in. He’s not the one man that [did not play to his best ability].
The Bulls will subsequent be in motion of their Currie Cup semi-final in opposition to the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 23 January.
Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Photos