Cape Town – Former Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha has criticised Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies’ tactics in his side’s 20-3 Super Rugby final defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Jantjies, who was instrumental for the Lions in the build-up to the final, appeared to leave his kicking boots at home, while he also made a few handling errors.
He was overshadowed by opposite number and man-of-the-match Beauden Barrett, who scored 15 of his side’s points.
Botha, speaking in the SuperSport studio after the match, said Jantjies should have controlled the game better.
“Going back to Elton, I thought at one stage he should have actually pulled the game closer to himself and say ‘I need to control this much better’ because at one stage it looked like he wanted somebody else to control the game,” said Botha.
“And I think in conditions like this, this is where the flyhalf says ‘bring the ball to me. Let me control it’... and I thought at one stage he didn’t really do that and that put everybody else under pressure.”
According to Botha, Jantjies used the wrong tactics in wet conditions, where it’s not always wise to try and play a running game.
“The problem today was, Elton never made up his mind about which game he was going to play. That’s where he really fell short. He should’ve decided... in conditions like this, you don’t play like that.
“We would like to see a game like that, but today you don’t play like that. Go back three or four times... inside their 22 where he should have taken control, they tried to pass the ball behind and the one try came because of a bad pass.
“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go further than the flyhalf in conditions like this."
Botha felt Jantjies also didn't make use of playing with the wind in the second half.
“And when you’ve got the wind behind you, 99% of the time the problem is that people think the wind will win you the game. But you’ve got to go and make the right decision and play the right game.”