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Bloemfontein - Hennie Daniller is the best kicking fullback in South Africa.
Nobody is better under the high ball than him. Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has no doubt about that ahead of Saturday’s Super 14 clash against the Bulls in Pretoria.
There is a lot of interest in Daniller’s showdown with the Bulls’ Zane Kirchner. However, it appears as if Jaque Fourie is the favourite to play fullback for South Africa against the British and Irish Lions.
Daniller, Kirchner and Stefan Terblanche have been named by Drotske as the other three fullbacks that may be able to help South Africa in the absence of Conrad Jantjes and Percy Montgomery.
The coach also has little doubt that Kirchner and Daniller will have a major influence on the Super 14 clash at Loftus Versfeld.
“Hennie is the best kicking fullback in South Arica, including Conrad. He fetches incredible distance on his line kicks,” said Drotske.
“There is also no better fullback than Hennie (because of length and weight) under a high ball. Our fitness expert, Niel du Plessis, deserves credit. He worked a lot on Hennie’s pace in the off-season. It’s clear that he is much quicker off the mark this season,” said Drotske.
The Cheetah camp has a healthy respect for Kirchner. That is why they did everything in their power just over a year ago to keep him in the region – Kirchner was then playing for Griquas.
Kirchner and Terblanche have been better than Daniller on attack. They also have a better work-rate.
Kirchner’s kicking has improved a lot. That is probably thanks to Bulls kicking coach Vlok Cilliers.
Thanks to Kirchner and flyhalf Morne Steyn, the Bulls’ tactical kicking is exceptional. That aspect of the Bulls’ game is one of the reasons they are favourites to play in a home semifinal.
It is precisely the Bulls’ tactical kicking that had Drotske and backline coach Hawies Fourie contemplating which one of Bjorn Basson and Jongi Nokwe should play left wing at Loftus.
Basson is better than Nokwe under the high ball and his positional play is also good.
However, dropping Nokwe would mean they lose a major counter-attacking threat.