Elton Jantjies ‘will bounce back’, says Lions coach

2014-03-13 12:33

Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies was the biggest casualty of the Lions 37-23 loss to the Sharks on Saturday, dropping to the bench ahead of the Lions’ Super Rugby clash against the Blues on Saturday.

The backline will take on a different look with Marnitz Boshoff, JW Jonker, Courtnall Skosan and Coenie van Wyk all getting starts.

Willie Britz and Robbie Coetzee swap with Warwick Tecklenburg and Willie Wepener in the forwards.

Coach Johann Ackermann said he was not forced to rush Jantjies back into action after a long injury layoff but admitted that the player was short on confidence.

“I can only judge a player on what he does on the field and attack-wise, Elton brings something to the plate. On that basis, it did not look like a major thing that I rushed him back,” Ackermann said.

“It is disappointing for him because he is a player who likes to be backed and he gets confidence from that. We explained the process of not putting him in the firing line because everybody will look at him and pin the reasons for defeat on him. He will bounce back and we will back him.”

The Blues clash will be the Lions’ first fixture against Australasian opposition, something that has excited Ackermann.

“We have played in four consecutive derbies and we are back at Ellis Park. That is something I think will excite the players,” Ackermann said.

“Home games are important but we are going to stick to what we are going to do. I am not going to add extra pressure on the players. If they stick to the plans and processes, the result will hopefully speak for itself.”

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has made four changes to the side that lost 38-22 to the Bulls.

Rugby league convert Benji Marshall will make his first Super Rugby start at fullback backline, which necessitated a change in the Blues backline.

Tevita Li drops out of the match 23 altogether with Pita Ahki getting a start at inside centre. Chris Noakes swaps with Simon Hickey at flyhalf.



15 Coenie van Wyk 14 JW Jonker 13 Deon van Rensburg 12 Stefan Watermeyer 11 Courtnall Skosan 10 Marnitz Boshoff 9 Faf de Klerk 8 Warren Whiteley (c) 7 Willie Britz 6 Jaco Kriel 5 Franco van der Merwe 4 Franco Mostert 3 Julian Redelinghuys 2 Robbie Coetzee 1 Schalk van der Merwe

Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener 17 Corne Fourie 18 Ruan Dreyer 19 MB Lusaseni 20 Warwick Tecklenburg 21 Ross Cronje 22 Elton Jantjies 23 Ruan Combrinck


15 Benji Marshall 14 Frank Halai 13 George Moala 12 Pita Ahki 11 Charles Piutau 10 Chris Noakes 9 Piri Weepu 8 Steven Luatua 7 Luke Braid 6 Brendon O’Connor 5 Tom Donnelly 4 Patrick Tuipulotu 3 Charlie Faumuina 2 James Parsons 1 Tony Woodcock

Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney 17 Sam Prattley 18 Angus Ta’avao 19 Liaki Moli 20 Jordan Manihera 21 Bryn Hall 22 Simon Hickey 23 Jackson Willison

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