If anyone needed confirmation of the importance of the two flyhalves in Saturday’s Super Rugby semifinal between the Lions and Waratahs, they just need to check their respective points hauls last week.
Elton Jantjies was outstanding as the Lions’ general against the Jaguares, varying his play superbly and contributing 20 points with the boot.
Earlier, his Waratahs counterpart Bernard Foley was patently inspirational in scoring 25 of his side’s 30 points in a thrilling victory over the Waratahs.
As a result, the two pivots’ duel this weekend is one of the main themes building up to big clash.
“Yeah, I think it’s going to be fun,” said Waratahs attack coach Chris Malone.
“The two really enjoy playing against each other. They’re two very good players and both exert a huge influence on their teams.”
Key stats – Elton Jantjies v Bernard Foley
3 178 Kicking Metres 3 997
151 Points 217
393 Good Passes 462
16 Off-loads 7
125 Carries 110
719 Running Metres 798
3 Linebreaks 12
125 Tackles 150
Malone, himself a former Wallaby Under-21 star before having a distinguished career as flyhalf in Europe, believes it would a massive mistake to underestimate the mercurial Jantjies.
“Elton is the lynchpin of the Lions’ attack,” he said.
“He really is a quality rugby footballer because he has so many qualities. We really have to ensure that we don’t give him and his dangerous teammates too much room to move.”
Conversely, however, Swys de Bruin and his troops can’t afford to neglect caging Foley, even though the Waratahs’ backline is considered one of the best in this year’s tournament.
Waratahs assistant coach Chris Malone on Qantas Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley and his presence in the Super Rugby semi against the Lions Rugby Co.
Posted by The Citizen Sport on Tuesday, 24 July 2018
“He’s not only the Wallabies’ flyhalf, he’s one of the best in the world,” said Malone.
“He’s handled the captaincy really well in (the injured) Michael Hooper’s absence. Bernard’s a guy that always has a lot of confidence, so the captaincy only serves to motivate him more.”