The secret to the fairytale start to the Springbok season at Loftus last weekend lies in the team not allowing themselves to be haunted by the ghosts of the past, believes Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies.
In his 12th Test, Jantjies was one of the stars in last weekend’s 37-14 victory in the first Test against France, contributing 15 points with the boot and brilliantly directing play for his outside backs.
“It’s all about the team and the team fundamentals, especially after we fixed it since last year,” he said.
“The guys really buy into the way we want to play and taking responsibility of their own jobs.”
But Jantjies emphasised it was a collective effort and he was happy he and scrumhalf Ross Cronje could make the right decisions with the quality ball they received.
“The forwards are laying a good platform for me and Ross and it’s down to us to execute that ball well,” he said.
Jantjies said it also helped to have several of his Lions teammates around him.
“Knowing those guys comes with the benefit of us speaking the same language and we obviously have our leaders at 9 and 10 and at 15 with Boeboes (Andries Coetzee),” he said.
“It makes it easier on the field and keeps the guys calm knowing what to do and what calls to make.”
Jantjies cautioned that the second Test in Durban this weekend could ask more tough questions of the team, but he was delighted to see the guys around him making their debuts.
“It’s special becoming a Bok but it comes with a lot of responsibility as well,” he said.
“And the same with Raymond (Rhule), he has walked a long way in SA Rugby before finally getting his opportunity.
“It also applies to Courtnall (Skosan, wing). Everyone has his own special story to tell.”