Wed 13 Mar 2019 | 06:00

Jantjies v Cooper: Battle of the beguiling flyhalves

Jantjies v Cooper: Battle of the beguiling flyhalves
Wed 13 Mar 2019 | 06:00
Jantjies v Cooper: Battle of the beguiling flyhalves
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SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Talk about first-choice flyhalves in the SANZAAR countries and the names Elton Jantjies and Quade Cooper don’t automatically appear.

In New Zealand the names of Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga are at the forefront, in South Africa Handre Pollard is the man in the driver’s seat and Bernard Foley has been Wallaby coach Michael Cheika’s choice.

Saturday two of the most enigmatic characters of the game go head-to-head at Ellis Park.

 

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Perhaps not the most pragmatic of flyhalves, but Elton Jantjies and Quade Cooper are certainly two of the more Promethean pivots in the game.

Jantjies was central to the Lions’ passage to three consecutive finals.

Cooper is at the heart of the Rebels’ unbeaten run this year.

* Conitnue reading below …

They both have their hecklers – those doubting Thomases who simply prefer structured, almost robotic, players over mercurial men.

You certainly can’t argue with those who feel neither has realised their full potential.

The word ‘enigma’ is probably an apt description for both.

However, when you speak to coaches – across the Super Rugby spectrum – you will hear all about the real virtues of the duo.

Saturday’s encounter in Johannesburg will put on display all the flair and artistry the two pivots can muster.

Defence may not be at the top of their capacity, but innovativeness is and they often receive rave reviews for their displays.

It will make for an entertaining affair at Ellis Park, a game in which try-scoring will be at a premium.

We take a look at how their respective seasons have progressed so far!

Elton Thomas Jantjies

Matches: Four
Carries: 24
Metres run: 35
Defenders beaten: Six
Clean breaks: One
Try assists: Four
Tackles made: 29
Tackles missed: 16
Points: 36

Lions Super Rugby stats

Quade Santini Cooper

Matches: Three
Carries: 19
Metres run: 63
Defenders beaten: Three
Clean breaks: One
Try assists: Four
Tackles made: 17
Tackles missed: Eight
Points: 22

Rebels Super Rugby stats

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

PV: 3738


Jantjies V Cooper: Battle Of The Beguiling Flyhalves | Rugby365