Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Kriel excited to take on Sunwolves

    2016-07-07 21:30

    Pretoria - If there is one player excited about this weekend’s Vodacom Bulls game against the Sunwoves, it is Springbok Jesse Kriel.

    Kriel makes the move back to the position he became a Springbok in at fullback, and is relishing the opportunity to finally get a bit more ball in hand when he takes the field on Saturday.

    It has been a frustrating season for Kriel, as he hasn’t always had the ball in space as he would have liked when the Bulls were under pressure, and he has had to adapt to changes in both game plan and his own outlook, being marked tighter by opposition over the length of the season.

    The downside has been that he lost his Bok starting role to Lionel Mapoe, the latter who has been exceptional all season for the Lions and deserved his spot in the starting line-up.

    For now, though, Kriel wants to touch the ball a lot more, and in doing so, help his side with their final push to slip into the playoffs if they still can, even though it is mostly out of their hands.

    “I’m very happy, I haven’t played there for a while so I’m really excited. I’ve trained well at 15,” he told

    “Ja I think I will get a lot more ball in hand, and get a bit more ball in space which I haven’t had over the last few weeks and which has been frustrating, not being able to play my game and being able to run and things like that. It has been frustrating, but I just want the team to do well.

    “Hopefully the forwards can put up a big performance this weekend, we have Adriaan (Strauss, captain) back and he makes a big difference, and if he takes control it will be good. I expect Renaldo (Bothma) also to do well and then the rest of the guys will fall in. It will be a good challenge, especially with the body height, the leg chop and other things, that brings a different challenge.”

    Kriel believes the Bulls need to strike early to put the Japanese side away if they are to achieve their aim of taking the bonus point as well as the win on offer.

    “You have to, especially playing in Japan you realise if you put guys away early then they are out of it but if you give them that hope, they are in the game,” he explains.

    While he misses his partnership in the midfield with Damian de Allende, Kriel is keen to ensure he regains the form that made him a Bok, but hinted he wouldn’t mind if he and De Allende were reunited as a combination at some point.

    “Playing with Damian was awesome, he is a world-class player. He is one of my best mates and I spend most of my time with him at the Boks, and that makes it much easier.

    “If you look at guys like Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie – their partnership – they were at the same union and it would be great if we could play more as a combination. I miss playing with a guy like that.”

    Kriel is excited again to be playing at 15, and the Bulls will be hoping that filters through to his play. Whatever happens in other parts of the competition, they need him to fire this weekend at 15 again to regain the confidence that was lost.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.