Five of Elton Jantjies’ key thoughts before the final

Elton Jantjies. Photo: Gallo Images.

He doesn’t fear the Crusaders, for one thing…

Elton Jantjies has grown used to being one of the hot topics whenever the Lions reach a significant milestone, like Saturday’s Super Rugby final against the Crusaders.

The 27-year-old flyhalf is a mercurial talent, a player that still tends to blow hot and cold.

ALSO READ: How the Lions will try and beat the dreaded jetlag

That said, his form in the Lions’ two playoff matches to date – against the Jaguares and Waratahs – has been fairly compelling.

It’s those showings that keep South African rugby hoping he can transfer his undeniable class to a bigger stage.

Here’s what he has to say about all the noise before the weekend’s showpiece game.

He’s not close to the peak of his powers…

(Smiles) I’ll reach my peak when I retire. I want to improve as an individual every single week and serve my team. I want to inspire those around me. I want them to look good and enjoy themselves. I’ll take the decision-making responsibilities. Let them have freedom. I like that responsibility.

Losing yet another final – a third in a row – will be painful but…

It hurts if you played 20 weeks or rugby, reaching the playoff and make the final and then lose that match. Then again, you’re always going to learn from such experiences. Also, this is a different year. Things are totally different. The way we got to the final is totally different to last year. We were on a roller coaster in 2018.

He’s not even thinking about the Springbok jersey…

Look, my focus is not there at the moment. It’s all Lions. I want to put Saturday first. Obviously I have personal goals I want to achieve but it’s all about the team now. Some of my friends are leaving at the end of this campaign. I have to help make the farewell special.

His grand plan to counter the jetlag…

(Smiles) It’s a secret! We as players have some responsibilities in terms of eating and stuff. We have great medical staff that guide us. They also have a secret!

He really is treating this final as a ‘normal’ game…

I know there are a lot of expectations when it comes to a final but we’re treating this as a regular game. Nothing changes, your preparation stays the same. All you do is travel a bit. I really don’t fear the Crusaders as opponents. They’re a great side but there’s no fear.

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