Head to head: Barrett v Jantjies

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 17:20
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SUPER RUGBY FINAL: The Super Rugby Final - between the Hurricanes and Lions on Saturday - is set produce some of the tournament's most intriguing head-to-head battles.

You simply can't look past the flyhalf battle - All Black Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) against Springbok Elton Jantjies (Lions).

They were both instrumental in their respective teams reaching the tournament showpiece, to be played in Wellington.

And they are also central to the way their teams play.

Barrett certainly appears to have stolen a march on close rival Aaron Cruden in the race to become a permanent fixture in the All Black No.10 jersey.

"Since coming back from the All Blacks [in June] he's really taken his play up another level," veteran Hurricanes wing Cory Jane told stuff.co.nz - when asked about the influence of Barrett.

"He was already at a high level before then, but his understanding of the game is superior - he backs himself and scores some freakish tries. He's quick as well. He's definitely a talent. Where we are offensively is a lot because of him."

Jantjies, in the absence of the injured Patrick Lambie, is certainly well clear in the race to be the Bok No.10.

The Lions pivot has played down his own role, opting to shine the spotlight on his teammates.

"I am quite privileged to play with this group," Jantjies said ahead of the Final, adding: "Especially when it comes to run, pass and kick policy.

"It makes it easier for me when the guys play such good rugby."

The Hurricanes are well aware of the threat posed by Jantjies.

Jane told stuff.co.nz that cutting down the 25-year-old Springbok's time and space will be crucial for the Hurricanes.

"He's a talented footballer," the wing said, adding: "When you give him a little bit of space like when the Highlanders let him run, he can tear you apart.

"Someone has got to shut him down."

Comparing the two also makes for interesting reading - with Barrett (208) slightly ahead of Jantjies (187) on the points scoring stakes, but Jantjies in return slightly more accurate in the goal-kicking category with 73.7 percent (70 out of 95) over Barrett's 69.6 percent (71 out of 102).

Head-to-head - key stats:

Barrett versus Jantjies
Minutes played: 1303 v 1088
Conversions: 48 v 44
Drop-goals: One v two
Penalties: 23 v 26
Tries: Eight v three
Points: 208 v 187
Carries: 119 v 88
Clean breaks: 17 v 7
Defenders beaten: 25 v 22
Meters run: 784 v 346
Offloads: Nine v 18
Try assists: Nine v 16
Tackles made: 93 v 70
Missed tackles: 25 v 32
Kicks from hand: 184 v 110
Handling errors: 23 v 16
Knock-ons: 23 v 16
Penalties conceded: Nine v three

By Jan de Koning

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