Mitchell keeps faith in Elton

2011-02-27 22:13

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Elton Jantjies will keep his place in the Lions’ starting line-up for Friday night’s Super Rugby match against the Blues in spite of his poor goalkicking.

South Africa’s young player of 2010 could only manage two successful kicks from five attempts in each of his team’s narrow losses against the Bulls and Stormers.

That gives Jantjies a success ratio of 40% after two games.

The question is now whether or not handing André Pretorius the No 10 jersey will benefit the Lions.

Pretorius only slotted two of his four kicks for the Golden Lions in their Vodacom Cup match against Western Province at the weekend, but his temperament has stood the test of time and he also managed a drop goal on Saturday.

“Elton is our first-choice flyhalf. André has a role within our organisation. But I’m working with the future in mind,” Lions coach John Mitchell told Sport24 after his team’s 16-19 defeat to the Stormers.

Jantjies played well apart from his kicking and the Lions are certainly knocking hard on the door of achieving their first victory in this campaign. They have altitude as an ally this weekend against New Zealand opponents and the elusive win is certainly within their grasp.

There was a realisation on Saturday evening that they had lost a golden opportunity to beat the Stormers at Newlands.

“It’s one that got away,” admitted Mitchell.

“What impressed me is that we worked together as a team for a longer period. Eleven of the players only played in their second Super Rugby match, and the matches for the past two weekends were against last year’s champions and the other finalist. We’re definitely on an upward spiral.

“The match was a big mental deposit for us. We’re not far away. We have to keep working hard for each other and eventually we will get our reward as a group.”

Jantjies, of course, is a major part of the group and the coach’s faith in him may well meet with major reward in the future. However, the goalkicking is a concern.


  • Joe - 2011-02-28 03:57

    Let Rory kick

      Bronson - 2011-02-28 06:28

      I Agree. Why not let Rory kick?

      John - 2011-02-28 07:27

      let Rory have a full game

      olifantp - 2011-02-28 07:58

      Rory is a much better scrumhalf, and as shown when he comes on he is always at the breakdowns and his decision making is much better than that of Jano... He deserves to be given the opportunity of a full game.

      Dal2000 - 2011-02-28 08:03

      Tactically Jano is very weak imo.

      Johnny - 2011-02-28 09:16

      Agree, ...let Rory kick... ......Elton Jantjies a lost case as kicker.....

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-02-28 05:17

    Give Burton a go. Stormers suck.

      burtfred - 2011-02-28 08:05

      If the Stormers suck, the Lions suck more. They have just lost to the sucking Stormers.

      Johnny - 2011-02-28 09:17

      ....Stormers = 11 year losers......

      Jean - 2011-02-28 10:08

      Give that man (pappa smurf) a Bells! My hero!

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-02-28 07:47

    Burton Francis is also a quality flyhalf and he can kick so what's the issue here? Let this young chap go and improve his kicking skills away from the limelighth and he can come back a more complete player come Currie Cup Season

  • Dal2000 - 2011-02-28 07:54

    I think Elton Jantjies has had his fair chance to prove himself, doing well last year, but this year not doing good at all.

      The Observer - 2011-02-28 09:16

      CC is not Super rugby. Last year he was an unknown, teams had a chance now to look at his play and he is beinf found wanting. Rose the third in the making.

      Johnny - 2011-02-28 13:42

      .....Elton Jantjies = flash in the pan... .......gone....

  • buddy jones - 2011-02-28 08:08

    well the answer is pretty simple the way that i see it....'coming second is not an option' and losing is also not an option' - how do you go into a competition of this nature witout a reiable kicker - impossible dont matter how good he is or not! You need a kicker and if he doesnt succeed send him to the vodacom cup and use someone who CAN kick - simple i believe. Otherwise accept the bottom of the log and keep building for next year

  • Oukoos - 2011-02-28 08:37

    Jantjies - just another Earl Rose, nothing more and nothing less. Let's forget about his poor placekicking. Against a totally off-form Stormers the Lions should have win by a huge margin, but Jantjies just could not dictate the match from the flyhalf position. Elton, watch and try to learn from real flyhalves such as Morne, Grant and Lambie how a top class flyhalf give direction to a match.

      Johnny - 2011-02-28 09:18

      ....just another "quota" player.... ....very average....

      Bosduif - 2011-02-28 10:33

      So as die Bulle, Sharks of Stormers swak speel is hulle "out of form"? Hoe klink die een vir jou? Die Cheetahs en die Leeus het die spanne van die naweek laat sleg lyk omdat hulle BETER gespeel het vir daai tyd perk in die wedstryd. Om Elton met Rose te compare se vir my genoeg van jou rugby kennis. Elton bring BAIE meer na die tafel toe as Morne en Grant. Die laaitie is nog jonk en as hy nie 'n groot besering op tel nie gaan jy en ou Johnny en so paar ander "alle wetendes" se bekke stil speel.

      Oukoos - 2011-02-28 13:26

      Beide die Bulls en die Stormers het swak gespeel. Punt. Desondanks het hulle hul onderskeie wedstryde gewen. Wat sê dit. Die Cheetahs en Lions kan nie eens die Bulls en Stormers op hul swakste wen nie. Bosduif, ek weet dit is nie lekker as jou span verloor nie, maar face the brutal facts. Jantjies is nie op S15 vlak nie. Hy is 'n doodgemiddelde provinsiale sleler, niks meer en niks minder nie

  • The Observer - 2011-02-28 09:14

    Jantjies played well apart from his kicking. Come one he was shocking. Overrated to say the least. Kick badly from hand, did not attack the line so all Lions attacks were static. Line breaks game from quick goes from the ruck and not good play by Jantjies. If Francis were put on at 60min Lions would have wone. John cost the Lions, he should have made changes earlier.

  • earlbok - 2011-02-28 09:25

    Oom oukoos eks n bul en a fan van mor5ne maar oom hy kan nie a bal pass soos janjies nie, Janjies se algemene spel lyk goed as hy maar net kon vir vlok as sy skop coach gehad het, die mannejie is jonk en lyk belowend hy is beslis geen earl rose nie en ek definitief is nie earl rose nie

  • mightygrogg - 2011-02-28 09:40

    I would play both Francis and Kockett, new half-back pairing will do the Lions good. Pretorius must stay in the Vodacom Cup

  • joe joe - 2011-02-28 09:44

    eltons kicking has cost the Lions all their games so far... good provincial player... just not bok material...

  • Kevin - 2011-02-28 13:12

    Rory left the sharks and now just a bench warmer at the lions, has he lost his edge because he was a masive force and got the shaks moving forward

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-02-28 14:35

    I don't understand most of the criticism in this thread. The Lions have looked dangerous at times on attack, Jantjies was not slowing them down. As for the kicked, yes he isn't kicking that well but he was kicking very well last season. What level you kick at makes no difference so these CC/SR comments are way off base. But yes the Lions lost two games because of their kicker. Hopefully they can make it count against the Blues.

  • burneyowen - 2011-02-28 17:08

    There is no replacement for Jano Vermaak. Rory doesn't even come close!!!

      therone - 2011-03-01 08:48

      What nonsense! Jano doesn't deliver quick ball and his breaks are easy to spot. We need to give Rory a chance and see what happens...

  • Andrew - 2011-02-28 20:03

    Good call JM. He just needs a few games to hook his rythm. You've still got my support. GO LIONS!!

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