Jantjies 'feeling' the pressure

2011-03-01 08:11

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – Elton Jantjies is feeling the relentless pressure of Vodacom Super Rugby.

The player’s mentor at the Lions – former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer – believes more confidence is the solution for the young flyhalf’s poor goalkicking to date in the tournament.

Jantjies (20) succeeded with only 2 out of 5 kicks at goal for the second successive weekend against the Stormers on Saturday.

And, just as was the case against the Bulls, the Lions lost narrowly, even though their highly-rated opponents had to defend desperately at the end.

Had Jantjies succeeded with the kicks he missed, things could have been different. But it’s not as if the promising flyhalf doesn’t know it.

“It’s confidence,” Spencer said of Jantjies’ goalkicking poor success ratio of 40% to date in this year’s tournament.

“He managed it last year. He can kick. But this is a different tournament. He is under a lot of pressure, which is taking its toll. He now has to work on his rhythm.

“You need an 80% success ratio in this competition and he isn’t anywhere near that. We’re paying for that and he knows it. And that knowledge means added pressure. Therefore he has to put it right.”

Spencer and head coach John Mitchell have already made it clear that they will back the players they are picking.

Burton Francis and André Pretorius are other flyhalf options, but it’s also vital to get Jantjies sharp as soon as possible.

In last year’s Currie Cup he managed a success ratio in excess of 80% with his goalkicking. He kicked well in pressure games against Western Province (10/10), Griquas (7/7) and Free State (7/7).

“We have to learn from the defeats. The guys we are playing with now are our future. Remember that we are playing against experienced teams loaded with Test players,” said Spencer.

“We have one Test player (Jantjies); well, he played one game against the Barbarians. He is only 20. Even so, that’s no excuse for the defeat, especially as we are increasingly realising that we can do this.”

The Blues will be the Lions’ first overseas opponents of the season at Coca-Cola Park on Friday night.

The Lions have a Blues legend in Spencer. He played 96 Super Rugby matches for the team and is knowledgeable about rugby in Auckland.

“We know they won’t kick the ball back as much (as the Stormers and Bulls did). Their back three will use their possession to attack and test our defence. Our defence will therefore be the most important thing this weekend,” said Spencer.


  • Deon - 2011-03-01 08:14

    Let him play some Vodacom Cup for 2 or 3 weeks just to get his kicking back on track.

      xperdt - 2011-03-01 09:42

      2 or 3 seasons...

      StefJo - 2011-03-01 09:53

      You cant drop a player for that, then numerous Flyhalves should have been dropped from most of the teams!

      Rocky - 2011-03-01 12:41

      I agree completely. Super rugby is not a practice but the real thing. Not on form than move out until back in the game.

      meyer1 - 2011-03-01 15:45

      As much as I like Jantjies,I think it's fair to say that he is not ready for Super Rugby. Kicking wins you the match. Much like the Golf statement,drive for show putt for dough... Scores tries for show convert for dough. Taken emotions out of it... He's good but not world class.

      CITIZEN - 2011-03-01 18:45

      100% reg maar wie sit jy in sy plek

      Johnny - 2011-03-02 08:32

      ....Elton Jantjies kicks like a "quota" player....

      Schumi - 2011-03-02 15:36

      Butch James joins in May, but will be way to late. Lions would have won both their matches had they at least kicked 50% accurately.

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-01 08:21

    I admire the stance the Lions coaching team are taking. The only way to build confidence is for him to continue at the highest level. If he can't build confidence here in terms of goal kicking, he will NEVER hack it. He has shown his QUALITY in all other facets of his play, and it is DAMN unfair to come down on the kid cos of a few missed kicks. (Granted games could have been won - but hey sh&t happens). Stick with the kid - he is the future.

      Kaapie - 2011-03-01 09:40

      And this oke made two slashing breaks, something we dont see from SA flyhaves!

      xperdt - 2011-03-01 09:47

      saffa-chicken ...'he AND Rose is the future...your future...

      george.traut - 2011-03-01 10:21

      He is good, and has a good future ahead of him I just wonder what will the Lions do when Butch comes? You can't pay that much for a player and let him warm the bench.

      Patrick - 2011-03-01 14:00

      I agree SAFFA-CAT, the rest of these fools really need to say something when they have something to say.All teams need 2 players in 2 positions and butch can also play no12

      kurtvs - 2011-03-02 12:58

      It is because there is no racist agenda´s. I am even now supporting the lions as oppose to the stormers.

  • KlaarGepraat - 2011-03-01 08:21

    The Stormers have four flyhalves better than Elton 'Earl Rose the Second' Jantjes. Jantjes is there for BEE requirements. Anyhow, Stormers beat them in about 10min, that is all it required! Bring Cheeky Watson and his clan, the Lions are a bunch of no-name, useless clowns!!

      CrisCross - 2011-03-01 08:29

      You clearly know nothing about rugby! Watch the games first before you make stupid comments!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-01 08:39

      You are a sorry @ssed piece of trash peddling sh$t. Sleep it off tonsil!

      andre.beetge - 2011-03-01 09:13

      You are a stupid idiot. Please do not comment on rugby sites anymore. As for you Cheeky and his clan, they could not even beat our(LIONS) B team, and as for stommers they were just lucky, but we will set the record Straight when we play them at home. Stop making such an ass of yourself and go and comment about bowls or something you clearly do not know anything about rugby!!!!

      KlaarGepraat - 2011-03-01 09:34

      Did you guys even watch the game?! I was AT the game! Stormers were by far to strong for the Lions, we were better in the line-outs, scrums and just about everywhere. Lions are still the same pathetic team of the last 10 years. Even the ref couldnt help the Lions! Stormers and Waratahs the teams to beat.

      Kaapie - 2011-03-01 09:41

      Jy praat some k#k. Gaan speel liewers juksei en kommentaar daar op.

      thumper - 2011-03-01 09:45

      The sign of a great team is one that can play second fiddle for 70 mins and still win the game. That has nothing to do with luck but rather with temperament. Jantjes is not bad but they are going to destroy his career. Theo and Andre - good luck to your lions team this year but were you two rugby guru's sitting at Coca Cola Park last year with the other 300 or so real supporters or are you part of the "new" supporters that have crawled out of the ground again now that some decent players have been bought and you all of a sudden believe you can win a game?

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-03-01 09:51

      Maybe you shouldn't drink so much at the game! All the excitement seems to have clouded your view! Lions played a much better game, lineouts were better, all you have is Bekker, no-one to support him. Our scrums were not up to scratch but at least we don't drop them like your front row did! Should Elton have put those 3 over, what would you say then? You are carrying on as if it was a convincing win, ha ha ha! you ou's from CT are all the same, living in la la land! ...and Habana had a cracker hey??? ha ha!

      StefJo - 2011-03-01 09:57

      Jis maar die bier klink lekker sterk daar op Nuweland! Volgende keer PVR die game, kyk dit weer, dan vra jy jou boyfriend wat actually gebeur het, dan kam praat jy saam...

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-03-01 10:04

      @thumper -you talk about the "new" supporters! We have always been supporters! Just nothing much to support in the last 10 years, would you like me talk about how good they were when they play kak! C'mon man, be realistic! Of course the supporters are going to be quiet, I have had to take abuse from my friends for years because I support the Lions, now finally we have a team that can play... Shampies, you don't like that do you? Me thinks you feel threatened! Ha ha, pu$$y!

      Theo - 2011-03-01 10:05

      Thumper i wil and always have been a loyal suporter i know how kak the bad times were is have been.and if you do find those lions suporters you refering to bitch slap them coz no one would choose a team with the worst super rugby record over just a few narow losses, that comes with years of suport and heart ache. klaar praat jys kak dom!!waar het die stormers ale fasete van daai game gewen waar was jaque fourie en jean de viliers habana het jantjies so onder druk gesit om yt posisie yt te speel mar as dit wat jy saterdag gesien het jou impress het wel gedaan jys in vir n moerse verasing die seisoen,en geen ref het niemand gehelp nie die lions het foute gemaak en was gestraf nes die sormers..

      thumper - 2011-03-01 10:15

      hey Egg Zachary your face must look egg zachary like your arse and thats why you talk so much shit. It's inbred Lions supporters like you that give the Coca Cola Park crowd a bad name - wanker! lets look at the score and analyse the log at the end of the season. Threatened?? You're hilarious!

      thumper - 2011-03-01 10:17

      Theo, you're one of a few and I congratulate you. All the best for your team this year.

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-03-01 10:22

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! Struck a nerve did I? Let's do that at the end of the season and I'll tell the other supporters to stop commenting on sport24 articles, I'll let them know it's giving Coca Cola Park a bad name.... WTF?!?! anyway, love you bye!

      Foxx - 2011-03-01 10:37

      You were obviously dropped on your head as a child. All you are being is rascist. Who do you think they should pick then, Burton Francis, BEE, Andre Pretorius, well beyound his best and will probably retire at the end of the year. So who are left. Please give relevant comments and stopped being stupid.

      Theo - 2011-03-01 10:44

      Foxx your being a huge knob !!no one made any racist remarks,just because a couloured player is not doing wel and is criticized for not doing well we are racist???get of that overcrowded band wagon and start looking at things for what they are!!they should not replace jantjies he should just work on his kicking!!!

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-01 11:28 really are an idiot! Jantjes is a good prospect but perhaps the Lions management need to take the pressure off him a little by giving the kicking duties to someone else (if there is anyone else). The Lions must persevere with him.

      Juan - 2011-03-01 12:01

      @klaargepraat. Can see you know nothing like zilts about rugby, rather go and watch netbal you loser...........

      geldenhuys23 - 2011-03-01 15:28

      Dis mense soos jy wat ons Stormers sleg maak.

      ohwell - 2011-03-02 17:17

      when you of colour and make a mistake you should be drpped from the sport, if you dutchman then he must get experience. the oak is 20 years old, give the guy a break, but if you drop him he is finished. the question is where is the second kicker on the park.

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-01 08:25

    Earl reminds me of a young Jonny Wilkinson.

      BlackSwan - 2011-03-01 09:44

      Your name is Earl - who is Earl?

      Shino - 2011-03-01 10:11

      @BlackSwan - James Earl Jones??

      Shistirrer - 2011-03-01 14:50

      I think he meant to say "Early brannas reminds me of a young Johnny Walker."

  • Spazman - 2011-03-01 08:25

    I hope we dont have another Earl Rose here... He's running is excellent, but people are starting to dislike him because of his kicking. Taking off kicking duties for one or 2 games so we can like him again...

  • mightygrogg - 2011-03-01 08:29

    One test player, who's not actually a test player (Springbok player without a test cap). Wonder what Waylon Murray, Bandisu Maku and Wikus Van Heerden think of that comment.

  • dribble - 2011-03-01 08:31

    the renlentless pressure of the vodacom super competition..for fliying in a bucket its been 2 weeks...what going to happen after 10 he going to have a nervous breakdown....this is the big leagues little one

  • destroyer - 2011-03-01 08:46

    I think sometimes these columns should be left to people who have knowledge in the topic being discussed He is very young and doing a great job, yes his kicking has taken a bad turn but this happens in in any sport. He needs to be able to realign himself. Last year it was easy we had nothing to lose as the lions he is now expected to turn in those performances when they are actually expected to win not cause an outside upset. Yes as a lions supporter im hurt by the close losses but im exited that when we start to fine tune and realize as we are starting to now we can beat anyone sides must take note. One other thing don’t worry about juan for RWC we will loan the bocks strauss

  • roboman1 - 2011-03-01 09:00

    as a long standing long suffering Lions supporter, I cannot agree with accepting these ratios and losses due to the poor kicking, play Pretorius and bring Jantjies on when we are either far in front or far behind, when the kicks do not matter. The coaches will also learn that they can only lose so many before the pressure shifts from Kantjies to Mitchell. Do not accept losses when they should have been victories and then try and convince me that this is OK

      Gareth - 2011-03-01 09:37

      I really don't think that is what they are saying at all! Jantjies is at least making tackles, breaking the line and running with the ball.His kicking out of hand has also been good. Nobody ever started on top...

      xperdt - 2011-03-01 10:00

      robo for a lion supporter you do make sense...The problem, there’s too many agents in your midst like saffa-chicken

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-03-01 14:37

      X-perdt - I am not a Lions fan - euuuuuuuuuuuw. I am a STORMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-02 22:26

      Sif-cat a Stormer? Lucky them.

  • lasherza - 2011-03-01 09:00

    He's not a half-bad player and could likely play at this level BUT not YET!! He cannot go on with under 50% successful attempts at goal .. The lions lost at least one the games because of him..cmon what is that one step hands by the mouth kick?? pleas dude

  • CraigD - 2011-03-01 09:00

    I am not a Lions supporter, but was privileged to watch Elton in the Bulls / Lions game. He straightens and sets the backline up on attack and is a definate threat. The Lions should leave him at flyhalf as his defense and attack is solid. To remove him from this position just because he's have a bad hair day kicking, would in my opinion be foolhardy! Why not bring Rory Kockett into the mix in a backline postion - he could take over the kicking responsibilities! Rory, himself is an exceptional backline player, both defensively and on attack!! I think the Lions should look at their options - one of which I feel is not the dropping of Elton Jantjes!

  • Theuns.Van - 2011-03-01 09:04

    Everyone moaning now about his kicking. It's only been 2 games the season is still long. Give the guy a chance to get his game back. Once he gets back into it all of you will be praising him again on the next article

      Shino - 2011-03-01 10:17

      Fair enough. Problem is, it doesn't matter if he starts kicking well in the second part of the Super15. He needs to perform "now" (or at least perform consistently). Coming back in the second half of the Super15, after an X-amount-game losing streak, is asking a bit much.

      kosie - 2011-03-01 10:52

      two games that the lions lost because of his goal kicking, his kicking cost you guys 8 log points. tow more losses agianst a SA team and the hope for the lions are over, sorry to say but it is so.

  • Roy - 2011-03-01 09:09

    I agree with CraigD,why not use Rory to do the kicking and I think he is a better scrumhalf than Jano, the main problem is his temprement as his kicking with the Sharks was better than what Jantjies is at the moment.

  • Ozman - 2011-03-01 09:22

    In my mind the first person you select in a team selection is a first rate goalkicker as it's "points for jam" and super rugby goalkickers should be kicking goal between 90-100 percent. Elton should return back to Vodacom Cup for a month or so to get his mindset and kicking on track.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-01 11:37 pick Kockett for his kicking ability!

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-01 09:23

    Pressure?? it's his second season!! Grow a set Elton. Peter Grant outplayed you six/love.

      kosie - 2011-03-01 10:53

      must say grant looks to be on great form, hope he plays a full game this coming weekend.

  • lasherza - 2011-03-01 09:24

    Agree with the last few comments , in hindsight i retract the statement - he's running is good nice and straight, defense is good too.. do not drop him just yet .but hand over the kicking duties to someone else

  • Johan - 2011-03-01 09:27

    I think the coach want to get the team scoring tries which is a good thing. Its good if you have a flyhalf that can kick well. Jantjies had a bad record on kicking but he can attack and create opportunities for his backline, he can defend and is not scared to take big hits when he have to. His kicking will be sorted out I believe. I think its at the moment good for us to start scoring tries...I think its a bigger problem if a team can't score tries and rely solely on a flyhalf that kick good(trying to make the point that its easier to work on place kicking to try and get a team to score tries). Yes it suck to lose games like this..!!!! We have scored a try against the stormers from a set piece with a backline move against a team who's backline is full of Springboks...which I think is a good thing. Hopefulle the blues will have an off day against the Lions (not that I am saying the Sharks didn't play well) because the blues like running with the ball! Goodluck Lions, I believe your win will come very soon!!

  • hunterdog - 2011-03-01 09:38

    Well, they all got to feel it some time. When he's felt it and experienced it he'll be a Bok and we'll kick All Black ass!!!

  • Andrew - 2011-03-01 10:00

    JM is doing the right thing - let Jantjies get game time to find his rythm. He took a few games in the Currie Cup to get into gear, and he'll need a few in Superugby as well. He's young and needs to build his experiance. How many of you armchair critics could do what he does as that age?

  • StefJo - 2011-03-01 10:08

    Get Braam van Straaten in for a week or two, aparently the'll sort out a problem with the boot in no time... Then unfortunately for everybody else I must say that Elton is going to turn into a points machine...Just bacause of the fact that he is probably the most threatening flyhalf running with the ball! Everybody else just still have to accept that! Not to mention points accumilation with the boot!

  • The Observer - 2011-03-01 10:23

    Earl Rose the 2nd

  • Weepee - 2011-03-01 10:25

    Lose the Wilkinson approach and focus ongetting the ball between the stix. Also remove some of the pressure by having a second kicking option. Surely the Lions should be working with another who can kick.

  • The Observer - 2011-03-01 10:28

    The problem is that yes the kicking was bad, but his general play was shocking, aimless kicks down field , not even in the space but directly into the stomers hands. If the stomers had a decent back three they would have killed the lions from though kak kicks. Then all these line breaks, half breaks people. He never made one line break, can't get backline going, he receives the ball standing still and swings it out wide, now even I can play rugby like that. Francis should be playing, Elton will not make it.

      StefJo - 2011-03-01 10:42

      Ya he just accidentally stumbled 40m's down field the one time...

      seeps.mazi - 2011-03-01 13:22

      And you made it pushing paper I presume?

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-02 22:29

      Stef - I am starting to respect your observations. Spot on with "accidentally" and "one time".

  • thumper - 2011-03-01 10:32

    Hahaha, nice to see some people still have a sense of humour at least. No sense in getting too serious about this stuff.

  • Lucas - 2011-03-01 11:07

    Listen if you are not blind you would have seen that the lions had stolen 3 line outs on saturday and the stormers new signing CJ van der linde where penelised 3 times in the scrum. And remember it was the lions A team Backline versus Lions B team backline, January,Habana,Jantjies Conrad, Jaque Fourie al of them were lions and face it for a team with one springbok against a team with 9-10 springboks I will be a bit worried to win 19-16. Just something that is intresting the lions were the first south-african team to win a super rugby title in 1993 it was the super 10 go check sa rugby's website. And for Elton the only thing that people must remember he is 20 years old and only his second super rugby match if anyone can do better get the jersey and go and do it yourself.

  • Jimmyboy - 2011-03-01 11:12

    This article is interesting to an extent and that is to hear what carlos has to say on the matter. But the comments on this article are just plain stupid to me. You're all blaming jantjies kicking for both losses, well I can see why everyone is upset. But! If you look at steyns kicking you will also see that he missed kicks, and if eltons and mornes kicks had gone over bulls would have still won, so its pointless complaining about that game. Elton is not a "earl rose" there are huge differences between the two, one of the biggest is the fact that elton can tackle. Yes he should be kicking better. But naas and morne have both been missing kicks yet there's no comments on their kicking. Give jantjies a chance before you all write him off. If he gets more than 80% of his kicks over this weekend then there's no problem, if he doesn't then you might have to start looking at different options. But give the guy a break to prove himself before judging him. an @observer i take it you didn't see elton make a line break and sprint 40m down field by himself? Please. Know what you are talking about before commenting. I have to spoken to many people and read a lot of articles and the one thing we can agree on that elton is not the best flyhalf in the country but he is the most attacking and creative flyhalf at this point.

  • Iceman - 2011-03-01 11:16

    thats what happens when u push a quota - look at chiliboy

      seeps.mazi - 2011-03-01 13:20

      You are an asshole and an imbecile all in one son. This boy is class he just needs time and please could you [point another flyhalf for the Lions in their current set up that will do better?

      Bootman - 2011-03-01 13:28


      Johnny - 2011-03-02 08:36

      100% correct Iceman...!!!, .........quotas = always failures....

  • scud - 2011-03-01 11:49

    Come off it-he is not in the class of Steyn,Lambie,Grant or Pienaar

      Andrew - 2011-03-01 12:07

      @scud - oh yes he is!

  • dushaas - 2011-03-01 11:55

    Let Kockott kick, he's more accurate

  • Juan - 2011-03-01 12:06

    @Klaargepraat what do you know about rugby, rather go and watch netbal you loser......En ek het nou klaargepraat tosser.........

  • Anneline - 2011-03-01 14:23

    Support Jantjies He has plenty of potensial dont drop him it will come right He will climatise to the experienced players he does a lot of tackling. Freestate granny.

      Johnny - 2011-03-02 08:44

      ....stupid granny....

      GraemeBB - 2011-03-02 22:35


  • marius.theron1 - 2011-03-01 14:35

    Hy's in elk geval te lig vir die vlak van rugby. Hy kan dalk orraait lyk teen die local spanne maar die NZ spanne gaan hom verniel. Hulle gaan heeltyd op sy kanaal aanval.

  • marius.theron1 - 2011-03-01 14:36

    Hy's in elk geval te lig. Die NZ spanne gaan sy kanaal aanval en hom uitmekaar hardloop.

  • Julz - 2011-03-01 15:00

    Let him go train in Vodacom Cup. Super rugby seperates the boys from the men a la Jantjies and Lambie??? Lions need o fix their loose trio, play Baywatch and van Heerden!

  • Yogi12 - 2011-03-01 16:17

    I agree with the new coaching staff in supporting their players. Lions have always chopped and changed players when things don't go right and as a result create uncertainty in the players' minds. I have a lot of respect for the lions coaching staff in showing faith in Elton. He is young and his confidence will grow as long as he continues to receive the support of the coaching staff, his team mates and the supporters. Maybe they should look at having a second kicker on the field, maybe Kocket for Vermaak? Either way I'm proud to see the lions playing the new brand of rugby that has been missing for far too long at Coca-Cola Park.

  • modderotter - 2011-03-01 17:07

    Jantjies is overated!! Burton Francis sou al twee games die jaar vir die Lions gewen het!! RAAK ONTSLAE VAN JANTJIES!!

  • Boeta Nev - 2011-03-01 22:38

    Jees with you guys as "coaches/selectors" I don't think Henry Honniball would have played a game of top level rugby let alone international level.

  • Charlie - 2011-03-02 10:41

    His lack of form has cost the Lions at least one game. Andre Pretorius cannot just warm the bench in case of injury - likewise Burton Francis. Jantjies had an outstanding CC but was out of his depth in the Autumn Internationals. Perhaps another of those players who has just discovered the realities of the Peter Principle.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-03-03 08:36

    The only pressure he must feel is the pressure of the Gilbert on his toe about a thousand times a week.

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