Lions believe Jantjies will fire against Canes

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:46

SUPER RUGBY SEMIFINAL: The cynics and naysayers were quick to label Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies a 'choker' who can't perform on the big stage.

Jantjies had his worst performance of the season, especially in terms of his goalkicking, in the 23-21 win over the Sharks last Saturday.

While Jantjies' goalkicking success rate was above the respectable mark of 80 percent before last week, he managed just one conversion from three attempts and one penalty from three attempts - a paltry 33.3 percent.

However, because his 'bad day at the office' came in a quarterfinal, his detractors were quick to suggest that he against showed he lacks Big Match Temperament.

However, the Lions team management and his teammates came out in unison to support the No.10.

"He is like any top professional sportsman, you get your off days," Lions attack coach Swys de Bruin said.

"He is very professional," De Bruin said, adding: "It is not a concern for us."

The Lions assistant pointed out that it has happened before and Jantjies has bounced back every time.

"He doesn't allow that to get under his skin.

"He has come right already," De Bruin said, adding that there is no need for special treatment for their pivot this week.

He pointed to Jantjies' goalkicking stats throughout the season.

Jantjies, who has played 1086 minutes this season, is the competition's leading points scorer - 171 (with 48 conversions, 19 penalties, a drop-goal and three tries).

His percentage - which includes last week's lowly 33 percent - stands at just under 80 percent for the season.

All Black Jordie Barrett, the Hurricanes' main goalkicker, also sits below 80 percent for the season.

"He does gave BMT,"De Bruin said," adding: "He has showed that and he has won some big games for us already.

"He is a stalwart in our team and the entire team is supporting him.

"We still outscored them [the Sharks] by three tries to two.

"The bottom line is that it was a win and we must move on."

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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