RUGBY NEWS - If the strong likelihood that Elton Jantjies will get to wear the Springbok No 10 in the final test against England, Newlands fans should see a far more mature and better rounded player than the one that struggled there two years ago against Ireland.
Roll the clock back two years to the last time that Newlands hosted a test match at this time of the year and it was Allister Coetzee’s first game in charge. Ireland hadn’t quite started the rise to where they are now as the No 2 ranked team in world rugby, and the Boks were expected to win.
There was much optimism about Coetzee’s chances of making positive change for the Boks. He started the game with Pat Lambie as his flyhalf, with Jantjies, who had missed a few Super Rugby matches because of injury, making his comeback off the bench. But Lambie was injured in a clash with CJ Stander, and Jantjies joined debutant Fat de Klerk on the playing field.
There was divided opinion about the performances of the Lions halfbacks afterwards. They both had individual moments, and that was what some commentators focused on. But in terms of the team objectives, there wasn’t enough balance to their play, and their lack of variation and tactical application led to South Africa’s first ever home defeat to the Irish.