Mallett: Bok halfback depth a major boost for World Cup

Herschel Jantjies (Gallo Images)
Herschel Jantjies (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett says the Springboks can be chuffed with the depth at their disposal in the scrumhalf-flyhalf channels.

Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after South Africa's 35-17 Rugby Championship win over Australia at Ellis Park over the weekend.

Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies was sublime, scoring two tries in a man-of-the-match performance, while his back-up Cobus Reinach also proved his worth when he came on.

"What was really good was before this game people were saying who after Faf de Klerk? Suddenly we have Cobus Reinach playing well when he came on and we have Herschel Jantjies, with a man-of-the-match performance on debut. That is so good for the team," Mallett said.

Mallett was also impressed with Elton Jantjies' efforts at flyhalf.

"The same with Elton Jantjies, who has battled at the Boks for a while now, but there he was playing at Ellis Park and he was able to come through with a good kicking record today. Elton kicked beautifully and as the forwards started to dominate he began to play better because he was much standing much flatter. He grew into the game well.

"We know that Handre Pollard and Faf de Klerk are the No 1 halfback pairing, but going into the World Cup it won't be a complete disaster if one of them get injured. You feel as though you got a bit of strength in depth there which is important."

Mallett added that the addition of Frans Steyn at inside centre helped Jantjies settle.

"He wasn't in control in the first half but it was a better last 20 minutes by Elton because he looked a little more comfortable having Francois Steyn on his outside. Steyn was brilliant when he came on in the last quarter, he gave direction in the team. And he gave poor, old Bernard Foley a terrible time in that flyhalf channel because he ran at him off the back of scrums and got momentum every single time."

The Boks now shift their attention to the All Blacks, who they tackle in Wellington on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 09:35 (SA time).

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