Roos unruffled, Canan purring and Jordan shows off his versatility

The Lions celebrated a crucial victory over the Glasgow Warriors this past weekend. | BackpagePix

The Lions celebrated a crucial victory over the Glasgow Warriors this past weekend. | BackpagePix

Published May 21, 2024


The United Rugby Championship (URC) produced some much-needed wins for the majority of South African sides in the penultimate round robin matches of this season.

Decent performances from the Lions, Bulls and Stormers kept the hopes alive of having three sides in the play-offs, while the Sharks suffered a disappointing loss at home. Here, Leighton Koopman takes a look at four players who impressed this past weekend as the URC takes a break ahead of the final round in two weeks.

Jordan Hendrikse of the Lions had a strong outing at 12 against Glasgow. | BackpagePix

Jordan Hendrikse (Lions)

Is 12 his new role?

Well, he looked so comfortable playing at inside centre that the Lions might continue with him there for the rest of his time in Johannesburg.

His big build allowed him to take the ball up into contact whenever he wanted to, and getting over the gain line provided some excellent ball on the front foot against Glasgow from which the team’s attack flourished. Hendrikse was also solid on defence in that channel and hopefully, even at the Sharks, there will be more showings of him at inside centre.

Eduan Keyter of the Sharks was one of the few positives in their loss to the Dragons. | Backpagepix

Eduan Keyter (Sharks)

A shining light for his side in a losing cause where they played with 14 men for a big chunk of the match. Keyter looked comfortable in the 12 jersey and his stats against the Dragons backed it up.

He had nine successful ball carries and gained plenty of metres when running with the ball under the arm. But his distribution was also good. Yes, it was not a good game for the home side, but he will only benefit in the long run after being handed a rare URC match.

Evan Roos of the Stormers kept his cool against Connacht, despite their best efforts to rile him up. | BackpagePix

Evan Roos (Stormers)

Roos just keeps going, no matter the position the Stormers throw him in. He played as a hybrid fetcher in the six jersey but was more effective with his bulldozing carries.

Most times when he got the ball, he ran through one or two defenders before being brought down. And his physicality on defence was also felt by Connacht. The Irish tried to rile him up a couple of times but it was good to see Roos keep his cool every time he was shoved around after a ruck or tackle.

Canan Moodie of the Bulls had a near-perfect outing against Benetton. | Backpagepix

Canan Moodie (Bulls)

When his side is on the rampage during attacks, Moodie needs no invitation to be on the right side of the ball to round off with five-pointers. It was the same on Saturday.

But it’s not just easy tries he runs in. His lanky and strong build helped when he powered through three defenders to score his first one barely three minutes into the game. Overall, the Springbok youngster had a near-perfect outing and he will be primed to continue this form into the knockouts.