Sharks coach Sean Everitt says scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse was apologetic after being red-carded in the second half of their loss to the British & Irish Lions on Saturday.
Hendrikse, starting his second consecutive game against the Lions, starred in a first half where the Sharks held the tourists to a 26-26 deadlock at half time.
The 21-year-old scrumhalf scored an intercept try with a fantastic defensive read and generally marshalled the Sharks attack very well, as they turned in a much-improved performance from Wednesday’s heavy loss to the same team.
However, it all went pearshaped in the second half, as five minutes in Hendrikse was involved in a fracas after making a tackle. The TMO called referee Wayne Barnes to check and replays showed Hendrikse throwing an elbow into the head of the opposition player after completing the tackle.
Barnes was left with no choice but to show Hendrikse a red card, leaving the Sharks with an uphill battle, playing with 14 men for 35 minutes against a team full of internationals.
As it happened, the Lions would score a further seven tries in the second half to walk away with a comfortable victory in the end.
Post-match, Everitt defended Hendrikse’s character and said he would definitely learn from the incident.
“Jaden is not a malicious character as we know,” Everitt said. “Unfortunately, there was a bit of niggle in the game. He did something that he regrets. He’s a youngster, he is only 20 years old and I think his emotions got the better of him and he will learn from that.
“When you are a youngster coming through, you are no different to the other scrumhalves that are chirpy. But, yes, he has to know when to draw the line. He will learn from this incident and it’s obviously our job as coaches to develop these young men as gentlemen to have respect for the opposition and match officials. We will have a chat to him.
“Off the field, funnily enough, he is totally the opposite. He is quiet and doesn’t say much. Shame, I do feel for him. He is very remorseful. Nobody wants to get a red card against an international team and put your team under pressure. It’s a learning experience for him and I am sure it won’t happen again in the future.”
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images