Rookie Jantjies steers Boks to win over Wallabies
MATCH REPORT: Herschel Jantjies showed tremendous class during the Springboks 35-17 win over the Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday.
What a great start to the Springboks’ demanding schedule of Tests for the next two months! Beating the Wallabies is always a good result, but winning 35-17 must be a reason for much rejoicing and a source of great confidence for the journey ahead.
It must be affirmation of the team’s processes and of the team selection when a novice like Herschel Jantjies could perform such feats and veterans like Francois Louw can fit in so seamlessly and so effectively.
All in all, it was a wonderful occasion, yet again, at Ellis Park for which the organisers deserve rich praise. There was a crowd 51 206 to enjoy the occasion, and you had only to look at the happy faces to know that they were enjoying it thoroughly. It was Ellis Park at its best. Even the emotion of the presence of James Small’s children, Ruby and Caleb, in jerseys with his number 14, standing next to the flag as Elwira Standile, the players and the spectators sang the national anthem was so special.
35-17 looks a more comfortable score than the first half suggested it would be. That half ended with the Springboks leading 14-10 but only after the Wallabies had wasted three outstanding opportunities – when the TMO saw that the pass from Samu Kerevi to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was forward after the big forward had galloped over for he hoped was a try, when Dane Haylett-Petty knocked on in picking up a rolling ball right at the line and when Sibu Nkosi rescued the Springboks at the line when Reece Hodge had flykicked infield and Bernard Foley was on hand to gather the ball. Change any one of those and the half would look very different.
There was also the negativity of a yellow card in the half when André Esterhuizen, who could not have enjoyed his first 20 minutes on the field, followed up a futile grubber with a high tackle that earned himself a yellow card.
In his absence each side scored a try for seven-all. While Taniela Tupou was in the sin bin in the second half, the Springboks scored two tries for a 14-0 advantage. But then their second half was much better than their first and not just in the matter of points.
The Wallabies won the toss and chose the kick-off. The Springboks made mistakes but then Louw won a turnover in the Springboks’ half and Herschel Jantjies, playing his first Test, went blind to Tendai Mtawarira, playing his 109th Test, and the ball went quickly via Elton J and Esterhuizen to Nkosi who had an overlap. He sped down the field and played inside to Herschel Jantjies who had a joyous run to the line for a try under the posts.
Australia played the phases, which meant that the Springboks tackled, but Samu Kerevi broke inside his half and, when he was tackled by Warrick Gelant near the Springboks’ 22 he passed to Salakaia-Loto who galloped off for a try, but the pass was examined and found to have gone forward.
Esterhuizen was in the sin bin when Herschel Jantjies again went blind, this time on the left to Pieter-Steph du Toit. The big man raced down the left and then chipped a perfect chip towards the Wallaby line. Herschel Jantjies grabbed the bouncing ball and only a desperate tackle by Tom Banks stopped the scrumhalf at the line. But the Springboks flung themselves into the attack, and the referee on hand to see that Lood de Jager had grounded the ball on the line far out on the left. As he did five times in the match, Elton J converted. From a lineout on the left, the Wallabies went wide right and, with the Springboks a back short, Haylett-Petty scored in Makazole Mapimpi’s tackle. 14-10 after 30 minutes.
The Wallabies then came close twice, the first time when Hodge flykicked and Nkosi saved on the line and the second when Haylett-Petty was way ahead of the defence in chasing a Foley kick but knocked near the line.
The Springboks’ second half was much more controlled, a half in which Lizo Gqoboka for his first cap and old hands Schalk Brits, Vincent Koch, Marcel Coetzee, Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn returned to Springboks rugby.
Where in the first half the Springboks lost two of their three lineouts, in this half they won all eight. In the first half they had been penalised four times to three, in this half the Wallabies lost the penalty count 6-2.
The Wallabies proved that they are still the land of the falling scrum. There were 13 scrums in the match. There were nine collapses, eight resets and four penalties, thee against the Wallabies.
The Springboks moved the score to 28-10 with two tries.
First they were held up over the goal-line and attacked from the subsequent scrum till Nkosi whirled over for a try. 21-10 after 56 minutes.
Then the Springboks won the ball at a tackle near the left touchline and suddenly Herschel Jantjies was scampering down the touch line , ending with an elaborate dive to score. 28-10.
With eight minutes to play Curtley Beale had a magnificent break and in Nkosi’s tackle got a clever pass to Foley who galloped over.
This try took away the Springboks’ bonus point which requires three tries more than the opponents. But, with time running out, a penalty gave them a five-metre lineout which Marvin Orie won. They bashed at the line, the siren went and suddenly Cobus Reinach went skidding around Kerevi to score – and restore the bonus point.
Man of the Match: Samu Kerevi was wonderful on attack and Francois Louw was the best at the tackle but nobody would dream of choosing anybody else but Herschel Jantjies, who passed, caught, tackled, ran, kicked and did it all with such brightness. He can do everything that a rugby player needs to do.
Moment of the Match: Either try could be chosen but we loved the cheerful cheek of the second.
Villain of the Match: Both André Esterhuizen and Taniela Tupou qualify. They must be aware of how match officials are required to be aware of actions such as theirs.
For South Africa
Tries: H.Jantjies 2, De Jager, Nkosi, Reinach
Cons: E.Jantjies 5
Tries: Haylett-Petty, Foley
Con: Foley 2
Yellow card: Andre Esterhuizen (South Africa, 20 – High tackle), Taniela Tupou (Australia, 53 – Dangerous cleanout)
South Africa: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt , 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcel Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds.
Australia:15 Tom Banks, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Kurtley Beale.
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)