Rugby Championship News

Sensational Jantjies stars as Springboks wallop the Wallabies




South Africa beat Australia 35-17 in the opening match of the 2019 Rugby Championship at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The Springboks ran in five tries to two in an exciting Test played at a frenetic speed, but one that was decided by the tale of two yellow cards and the two halfbacks.

This was the Jantjies show and South Africa has a new hero.

Both Elton and Herschel accounted for 20 points as they enjoyed a dream first run out together, in the City of Gold.

Herschel Jantjies had an electric debut in the green and gold, scoring twice as well as having a role in setting up Lood de Jager’s 24th-minute score as the Springboks took a slender four-point lead at the break.

Sbu Nkosi touched down for his side’s third try in the third quarter as the Boks pulled away and Cobus Reinach provided the final dagger.

Australia, despite enjoying the better of every statistic in the first-half, wilted on the Highveld as the Boks turned the screw.

Dane Haylett-Petty crossed for the Wallabies and Bernard Foley’s ever-reliable boot kept the visitors in touching distance.

Yellow card changes the game

Taniela Tupou was sin-binned for a dangerous cleanout on debutant Rynhardt Elstadt in the 54th-minute with the scores locked at 14-10.

The prop forward’s indiscretion cost his side 14 points whereas Andre Esterhuizen’s first-half yellow card saw both teams score seven for a net loss of zero for the Springboks.

Nkosi scored from the next series of attacks after some slick handling by both backs and forwards as the Boks increased their lead.

Rugby Championship: South Africa versus Australia, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Elton Jantjies, who was good from the tee, gave the hosts some breathing space as the game entered the final quarter.

Herchel Jantjies, reminiscent of the great Joost van der Westhuizen, broke blind from a ruck and darted over in the corner on 62 minutes to all but seal the match for Rassie Erasmus’ men.

Foley scored late in the match, but it was too little; too late – the deficit was insurmountable.

The Springboks were camped on the Wallabies’ try-line at the end, looking for that final dagger and bonus-point.

A series of sustained pressure finally told.

Reinach, back from the international wilderness, darted over in extra time to seal the important win.

Wallabies dominate the first-half

The men from down under enjoyed most of the territory (61%) and possession (65%) in the opening stanza of their 50th Rugby Championship Test against South Africa.

The Springboks had to make double the amount of tackles as the Aussies camped inside their half.

Although the Boks led at the interval, they were lucky to not be down because the Wallabies were profligate with the ball in hand – some of their finishing left something to be desired.

Australia started well, spending most of the opening quarter inside the South African half.

It was the Boks, however, who struck the first blow when debutant scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies crossed for the game’s first score.

Esterhuizen crunched Foley in the midfield. The Aussies continued their attack, but the ball was stolen by Francois Louw and sent wide to Nkosi.

The winger raced down the touchline, drew Tom Banks before sending Jantjies away under the posts for a debut Test try.

Foley put his team on the scoreboard with a penalty, soon afterwards. The hosts were fortunate to keep their slim lead because of a TMO intervention, a minute later.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto took Samu Kerevi’s offload and burst through to score his first Test try, but the replay showed the pass was forward.

The yellow card does not prove costly as Boks weather the storm

Esterhuizen was sin-binned in the 21st-minute for a dangerous tackle on Banks. It was the centre’s first yellow card of his international career.

Despite being down a man, it was the Springboks who struck again.

Pieter-Steph du Toit broke down the touchline, put in a deft chip-kick which Herschel Jantjies collected.

The diminutive No. 9 was tackled centimetres short of the try-line by some superb scramble defending by the tourists.

The ball was recycled to De Jager, who crashed over. Elton Janties extended the lead with the wide conversion.

Australia did, however, strike a blow while Esterhuizen was off the field.

Haylett-Petty crashed over on the half-hour after a slick backline move from an attacking scrum. Foley made it a four-point game with the conversion.

Haylett-Petty should have had a second try five minutes before the break, but the winger knocked on a bouncing ball inside the South African in-goal area.

South Africa pull away with some stunning finishing as Australia wilt

Elton Jantjies missed a long-range penalty, but Nkosi’s try extended the Boks’ lead after the break.

Four minutes later, Herschel Jantjies cemented his star quality with a blindside break a la Joost.

At 28-10, the game was almost done, however, a Foley score kept Erasmus’ side honest.

Kurtley Beale broke through the Bok defence and offloaded to the flyhalf, on his inside.

The game began to slow, both teams tiring in the last 20 minutes.

The green tide could not be halted as Australia ran out of gas on the Highveld.

Reinach, back in the green and gold, came on for Jantjies.

The scrumhalf left to a standing ovation from the Joburg faithful and his replacement sealed the match, breaking through Serevi’s tired tackle.

It ultimately proved costly in the end, so did the Wallabies’ ill-discipline.

Final Score: South Africa 35 (14) Australia 17 (10)


South Africa
Tries – H. Jantjies (2), De Jager, Nkosi, Reinach
Pen –
Con – E. Jantjies (5)
Drop –
Cards – Esterhuizen (Yellow, 21′)

Tries – D. Haylett-Petty, Foley
Pen – Foley
Con – Foley (2)
Drop –
Cards – Tupou (Yellow, 54′)

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams (NZR)
Assistant Ref 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Ref 2: Karl Dickson (RFU)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (RFU)


South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies (debut), 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt (debut), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka (debut), 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcel Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds.


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 (debut), 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.

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