Ackermann: Elton does have BMT

Thu, 04 May 2017 12:39

IN THE SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Elton Jantjies may not be everybody's cup of tea, but he is a match-winner for the Lions.

This is the view of Lions coach Johan Ackermann, who dismissed the notion of the naysayers that suggest the 26-tear-old Springbok flyhalf does not have 'big match temperament'.

Jantjies, with over 170 first class games to his credit, including 11 Tests, is fast regaining his best form - following the horrible slump when he was called up for Bok duty in 2016.

The Lions No.10 is second on Super Rugby's points scorers list - with 96 points from 11 penalties, 25 conversions, one drop-goal and two tries.

One of those tries was a crucial five-pointer after the full-time hooter that earned his team a bonus-point win against the Western Force last week.

And his 82 percent success rate is third on the goal-kicking stats.

Not surprising then that the Lions coach, Ackermann, is singing his praises.

"We are very happy with how the season is panning out, and in particular with Elton [Jantjies]," Ackermann said in an interview building up towards the second match of their Australian tour - against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.

"There were a number of games in which his kicks were crucial to keep us ahead and put pressure on the opposition," the coach said.

"We are very grateful for that [Jantjies' form].

"I feel he has always had that calmness about him. I know there are people who are of the opinion that he struggles in the big games [lacks BMT].

"We certainly don't doubt him.

"We know he is a match-winner and will always give his best."

Ackermann says the Bok pivot has grown a lot as a player this year, as well as a leader in the team and as decision-maker for the Lions.

"There are always aspects [of his game] to work on," he said, adding: "Be that a better kick for touch or better tactical kicking.

"However, the one thing that Elton is not in short supply of is discipline when it comes to doing the extras.

"He is the guy who always, after practice, stays on to do some extra kicking [practice].

"I am happy for him that he reaps the rewards on the field.

"Yes, you have to give the forwards the credit, as they set a solid base for him, but when it comes to his personal responsibility he puts in the hard work.

"We are grateful for that [his form], but we have to continue working hard."

Ackermann said there are still a lot of work to be done this year and the Lions have not achieved much as a team or individuals.

"That is why we are glad that everything is still in our own hands.

"The same applies to Elton. He has to continue his growth and work hard.

"Hopefully not just he, but also the team, will benefit later this year."

@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Brumbies v Hurricanes 09h45 Canberra
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28