Cape Town - Saturday’s Super Rugby clash between the Stormers and the Lions at Newlands will see two starkly different yet equally important flyhalves lock horns.
This is according to Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, who heaped praise on both number 10s in the build-up to a match that has the potential to end the Lions’ playoff ambitions while securing the Stormers top spot in the South African conference.
Catrakilis (154) is the second highest points scorer in the competition this season while Jantjies (150) is third.
Jantjies’ form this season has catapulted him into Springbok contention. His ability to get his side on the front foot through accurate passing at precise moments has been a facet of his game that hasn’t gone unnoticed. He has read the game well, taken the ball to the line with ease and, perhaps most importantly, his goal kicking has improved in leaps and bounds.
Catrakilis, meanwhile, has been rock solid for the Stormers – slotting over 90% of his kicks at goal this season. Where Jantjies is flashy and doesn’t fear taking the low percentage option, Catrakilis is a metronome – his consistency with the boot his finest asset.
Coetzee worked with Jantjies at the Stormers in 2013, and he is full of praise for the 24-year-old left-footer.
"Elton has been really outstanding for the Lions. In terms of his basics as a 10 he’s really been good at that. His kicking out of hand has been good and his kicking at goal has been decent," said Coetzee.
"His attacking game has really opened up a lot of opportunities for good running. He also takes the ball up to the line and takes the responsibility on himself when he has to. He’s been good at making decisions, he’s been good at controlling the game."
Coetzee said that the Stormers were aware of Jantjies’ ability, and that they had plans to minimise his impact.
"We will look to contain the set-piece and make sure that it is not just on their terms all the time that he gets good ball," said the coach.
"A good player will be able to make time and room for himself, so it is pointless focusing on him. But if we control the set piece then we can put pressure on him."
But Coetzee, while acknowledging his admiration for Jantjies, is more than happy with his own flyhalf.
"He (Catrakilis) hardly gets the credit, but he is really solid," Coetzee said of his number 10.
"He is maybe not the flashy type … but he controls things for us with his boot very well and he knocks the points over when we need that.
"I think his X-factor is that he can sit in the pocket and knock over drop goals. He’s also gotten our three-quarters away very nicely, I think we’ve scored some good tries which is a very underrated thing about his attack.
"He’s really been good for us."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Harold Vorster, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Armand van der Merwe, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Robert Kruger, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Dillon Smit, 22. Marnitz Boshoff, 23. Howard Mnisi