Super Rugby 25.7.2018 10:03 am

Jantjies has his work cut out against this classy counterpart

Bernard Foley and Elton Jantjies. Photos: Getty/Gallo Images.

Bernard Foley and Elton Jantjies. Photos: Getty/Gallo Images.

Saturday’s Super Rugby semifinal battle at Ellis Park will be defined in some part by the battle of the flyhalves.

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.”

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Key stats – Elton Jantjies v Bernard Foley

Jantjies                                                                      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

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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.”

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