Why Coetzee is backing Jantjies and Goosen

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:05

REACTION: Springbok coach said Elton Jantjies will be given time to settle at flyhalf and Johan Goosen at fullback.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Rugby Championship return match with Argentina, in Salta on Saturday, Coetzee the important thing for his team is to build continuity.

As a result, he kept changes to a minimum.

Vincent Koch replaced the injured Julian Redelinghuys in the only change to the South African starting XV. Amongst the replacements, Coetzee named the experienced Morné Steyn in place of Juan de Jongh.

"With such a short turnaround we couldn't make a lot of changes," the Bok coach said of the limited preparation time between his team's 30-23 win over the Los Pumas in Nelspruit last Saturday and this week's Round Two fixture at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena.

"Morné Steyn brings calmness and appreciates the conditions here in Salta," Coetzee said, adding: "With his kicking, he can capitalise when the opportunity is there to get points on the board.

"Jesse Kriel is covering No.13 and No.15 for us," said about the decision to axe De Jongh.

Despite having struggled to transfer his Super Rugby form into the Test arena, Coetzee said he will back Jantjies to find his feet at international level.

"One has to give Elton enough opportunities and support," the Bok coach said.

"It is only his seventh cap as a No.10 and his fourth starting a Test," Coetzee said of the 26-year-old Lions No.10, who made his first Test start against Ireland in June.

"He is also learning lessons and hopefully, the progress will come and he will show that this weekend."

Coetzee pointed out that both Jantjies and fullback Johan Goosen are attacking-minded players.

"I would like Johan [Goosen] to focus on No.15 at this stage and do not see him as a back-up No.10, because he has only been with us for two weeks," he said of the Racing 92 utility back.

Goosen has featured at flyhalf, centre and fullback for his French club, but played some of his best rugby at outside centre.

"There are a few things he has to get used to," Coetzee said of the seven-times capped, 24-year-old Goosen.

"It is too important at Test level for him to be thinking [about playing at] No.15 and No.10.

"Flyhalf is a pivotal position and you need to have a calm head there and that is where Morné Steyn can come off the bench if needed and do a job for us."

Coetzee said playing the Pumas in Salta poses different challenges to what the Boks experienced in Nelspruit last week - when they came from behind to snatch a late win.

He described Argentina as a "world force" in the game and no longer easy beats.

"They beat us [Springboks] last year," he said of Los Pumas' famous first-ever victory over South Africa in Durban.

"They fancy their chances and we expect no favours from the Pumas, but we have prepared well.

"Our reviews showed we were in control for the first 19 minutes and the last 11 minutes [in Nelspruit].

"We have to ensure we control the match for longer periods.

"In between the two 22-metre lines they played better rugby and took their opportunities. We didn't take out opportunities.

"We made a lot of fundamental mistakes and the focus this week was on accuracy."


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