Elton Jantjies

New details have emerged following the arrest of Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday morning. Photo by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

Can Elton unlock Scotland defence?

Flyhalf Elton Jantjies has been empowered to unleash his unique skill-set when the Springboks take on Scotland this Saturday.

Elton Jantjies

New details have emerged following the arrest of Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday morning. Photo by Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

Ahead of the Boks’ second Test on their end-of-year tour, coach Jacques Nienaber has opted to start Jantjies at flyhalf.

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Handre Pollard has previously started in 10 Tests this year, but the Boks believe this is the perfect opportunity to send Jantjies into frontline action. 

In last year’s Six Nations tournament, Scotland finished in fourth position, but conceded the least number of points by some margin (59, with England next best with 77 points against), and only leaked five tries in as many games. 

In the 2021 Six Nations, Scotland conceded the second-least number of points (91, only marginally more than Ireland: 88), once again demonstrating their resolute defence that’s been fine-tuned by highly-regarded assistant coach Steve Tandy.

It’s clearly part of the reason why the Boks have opted to bring Jantjies into the starting lineup, with the experienced pivot renowned for his subtle touches and variety that he brings on attack, while regularly using cross kicks as another offensive weapon. 

“In terms of Elton, we’ve done some analysis on Scotland and we feel we’ve identified some areas of opportunity,” Nienaber commented on Tuesday. “With Elton coming in, he must fit himself into the bigger plan… into the team’s plan. He has a specific skill-set that he needs to find, within our system and structures. There is definitely a place for his skill-set.

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“There were some opportunities that we missed (against Wales last Saturday). So, we are constantly trying to improve our decision-making and our awareness of when an opportunity is given to us, that we take that opportunity.

“In terms of Elton, yes, if you look at Scotland and their coaches, they have been the best defensive side in the northern hemisphere in 2020 and 2021 – they conceded the least tries and the least points in the Six Nations.

“So, they are a formidable side to break down. They don’t concede a lot of points and a lot of tries, and that speaks volumes for Steve Tandy, who joined Scotland after the World Cup.”

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