Boks coach Erasmus warns against the increasing hero-worship for Jantjies

South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi in action powering through a tackle during a Rugby Championship match against Australia at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on July 20 2019.
South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi in action powering through a tackle during a Rugby Championship match against Australia at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on July 20 2019.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus has warned against the increasing hero-worship and adulation for emerging scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies after his sparkling man-of-the-match performance on debut in the 35-17 win over Australia on Saturday.

The 23-year old Stormers scrumhalf was thrown into the deep end in the absence of Faf de Klerk and repaid Erasmus' faith in him by delivering a brace of tries that helped the Boks start the Rugby Championship on a winning note at Ellis Park.

“You don’t want to praise the guy too much‚” warned Erasmus after Jantjies’ eye-catching performance.

“Take where he was last year in Super Rugby‚ his service‚ spot kicks and technical things like defence and attack‚ they were awesome in this level of the game.

"Hopefully‚ he can grow from here because he has gained a lot of confidence.

"But the opposition will just get tougher and tougher in the coming weeks and at the Rugby World Cup.

"It is a great start from him and he can be proud of his performance.”

Jantjies was replaced by Cobus Reinach of Northampton in England after 65 minutes and Erasmus said he was happy with the depth in the team as he still has De Klerk‚ Embrose Papier and Ivan van Zyl.

“Things can change quickly in rugby with injuries‚ loss of form and those kinds of things but as we sit here we are happy‚" he said.

"Last year at stages we were really happy with the way other nines performed.

"If you take Embrose Papier against Scotland and Ivan (Van Zyl) against England‚ we had to try a few things to see who are the guys who fit in‚ who can adapt and the way we want to play.

“We had to try new things to get us where we are today in terms of depth and not performance. I think we can say at nine we know who is available and who can do what.

"That is a good sign and if you count Papier and Ivan and all the guys we have tried.

"We know who we have and it is a matter of consolidating when we hit the World Cup (later this year).”

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