Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
31 Mar 2017
2:21 pm

Rohan Janse van Rensburg’s butterfingers keeps him on his toes

Heinz Schenk

The exciting Lions centre has not shown any symptoms of '2nd season syndrome' and last week's troubles against the Kings are long forgotten.

Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images.

Last week – much like his side’s performance – supporters saw the best and worst of Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

For 40 minutes against the Kings, the exciting Lions centre was unstoppable.

He scored a try, slipped past a defender twice and even threatened to burst through a few tackles.

And then came the four handling errors, three of them in a pretty poor second half.

But this doesn’t mean Janse van Rensburg is ripe for the taking on Saturday against the Sharks at Ellis Park.

Also read: Sharks rejoice over their versatile (and black) playmakers

In fact, it’s merely kept the 22-year-old playmaker on his toes.

“It actually started seeing the funny side of all those knock-ons last weekend,” said Janse van Rensburg.

“I just couldn’t understand what happened. But I’m cool with it now, these things happen. It’s very important to realise you won’t have a perfect game every week and move on.”

By all accounts he’s actually allowed to have had one ordinary game – it wasn’t even for a whole game – because the Springbok midfielder has almost completely sidestepped “second season syndrome”.

Given how opponents are now aware of him after a superb 2016, many expected his influence to become less.

It hasn’t.

“It’s been a fantastic year, I’ve been blessed,” said Janse van Rensburg.

“The way to stay ahead is pretty simple. Every week we talk about the need to improve. It’s part of our culture, that’s how we keep performing.”

One of the features of his season to date has been the way he’s simply bulldozed out of tackles.

It’s nowadays a rare and thrilling sight as most coaches now preach players to look for space instead.

Janse van Rensburg  does both.

“Well, you’ve got to pick your battle,” he said with a smile.

“You can’t just run into any defender. It’s a state of mind when you run with the ball. You decide when you want to hit the gap or when you can crash into an opponent. It’s a fine balance and a difficult one too but I try my best.”

That’s a bit of an understatement.

Lions: Andries Coetzee, Madosh Tambwe, Harold Vorster, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley (c), Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen. Bench: Akker van der Merwe, Corne Fourie, Hencus van Wyk, Lourens Erasmus, Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronje, Jacques Nel, Dillon Smit.

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