- Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies believes the team shouldn’t be focused too much beforehand on what type of game the Wallabies will play on Sautrday.
- He points out that the Aussies have been quite fluid over the past few years and that the Boks will simply have to adapt to whatever is thrown at them.
- Jantjies is also wary of the potential impact of the experienced Bernard Foley, who’s been recalled.
Springbok pivot Elton Jantjies sees little point in the side preoccupying themselves unduly with what type of game plan the Wallabies will adopt in Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash in Adelaide.
Part of his sentiment is down to the fact that South Africa haven’t won a Test in Australia since 2013 – when Heyneke Meyer’s troops triumphed 38-12 in Brisbane – and simply will have to cope with whatever is thrown at them.
Furthermore, Jantjies believes, their hosts haven’t exactly seemingly settled on a more long-term plan as to how they’ll counter the world champions.
In fact, it’s pretty fluid.
“I believe everyone’s aware that it’s been a long time since we’ve won in Australia. What this weekend represents is nothing more than a opportunity for us to make it right,” said the 32-year-old former Lions star.
“With regards to what type of game the Wallabies will play, I believe we’ll have to see what the first 10 to 20 minutes of the game delivers. That might be our best bet in terms of determining that.
“There’s a perception that the Australians are more of a ‘running team’ and that’s been the case in some years. But last year, for example, they kicked a lot more. We’ll have to see what they come up with.”
Much like the wily Quade Cooper, who made a dramatic impact in last year’s tournament with his goal-kicking boot in particular, there’s an acute awareness that the recall of Bernard Foley could be instrumental in that element of unpredictability.
“Quade came in and made an impact. He brought a lot of experience and that made a big difference,” said Jantjies.
“It won’t be any different with Bernard Foley, he’ll influence their younger players positively too. We’ll simply just have to adapt again.”
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Warrick Gelant, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kisthoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn
Perhaps evening out the skewed history against the Boks is the sprawling 53 500-seater Adelaide Oval, where Jantjies and his teammates will run out for the first time.
“It’s definitely exciting to play in a new stadium, it should be a good experience. That said, we’ve had a good look at ourselves this week, that’s the most important thing. It’s another opportunity to learn and grow.
“Even though we know each other quite well as a group, there’s always still room for improvement. We’re playing a different team to the All Blacks this week. It won’t be the same.”