It could be Jantjies versus Jantjies

Wed, 17 May 2017 09:02

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Brother versus brother. That is the dulcet side dish to the main course at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It could be Elton Thomas Jantjies versus Altonio Shedrick Jantjies for the first time ever in a Super Rugby match.

Elton, 26, made his Super Rugby debut for the Lions in 2011 and has played 90-odd games for the Johannesburg-based franchise. He also has 11 Test caps - with a total of over 160 first-class games.

Tony, 25, made his first Super Rugby appearance for the Bulls last week against the Highlanders. He has just 30-odd first class games to his credit.

However, the younger of the Jantjies brothers did enough in his 24 minutes in the 10-17 loss to the Highlanders last week to warrant a possible start against 'big' brother's team this week.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais confirmed there is a realistic chance of Tony starting this week.

"It is no secret Tony has had his ups and downs in life," Marais said of the flyhalf, who represented the Golden Lions at the 2008 Under-16 Grant Khomo Week, before he then joined trans-Jukskei neighbours the Blue Bulls from the 2009 season.

"He has been working very hard," the Bulls coach said, adding: "He got into shape and he has been humble.

"He did everything we required of him, played in the lower divisions and took his opportunity.

"He will most probably play against his brother [this week]."

Marais admitted the Lions - the runaway leaders in the African conferences - will present his team with a formidable challenge.

"We have to make sure we are properly prepared for a Lions team that have won 10 consecutive games at Ellis Park," the coach said.

"They have a lot of confidence and they have been playing together for a long time.

"It will be a tough task, but seven days is a long time in Super Rugby - anything can happen."

He also warned his charges that they could be in for a similar treat to their last trip across the Jukskei river, when they conceded more than 50 points (56 to be exact) to a rampant Lions team last year.

"If we are not up for it and properly prepared we will take another 50 points.

"They are a team with confidence and a team that plays good rugby.

Many of those guys played for me and I know how dangerous they are," he said of players like players like Corné Fourie, Hencus van Wyk, Robbie Coetzee, Andries Ferreira, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Courtnall Skosan - who all made the 50-off kilometres south from Pretoria to Johannesburg.

"Our guys are in for the fight.

"We are not going just to give them a win, we are going there to get a win.

"They are a very good team, but we also have some very good youngsters.

"It will be an interesting game."

@rugby365com

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