Cape Argus

Jantjies’ omission ‘ rotational’


WESTERN Province head coach John Dobson says the decision to leave Herschel Jantjies out for their Currie Cup match against the Lions tomorrow (kick-off 7pm) was preplanned and not based on his last performanc­e.

The Springbok scrumhalf has not been included in the 26-man squad for the Round Two fixture. Instead, Godlen Masimla will start with Paul de Wet on the bench.

Jantjies hasn’t been at his best since the start of domestic rugby, and in Province’s 22-20 loss to the Bulls at Newlands last week, he delivered another below-par performanc­e (by his standards).

Masimla will form a new halfback combinatio­n with Tim Swiel, who starts at flyhalf with Damian Willemse having shifted to fullback after Warrick Gelant sustained a knee-ligament tear that’ll keep him out for six to nine months.

Dobson explained that the change at scrumhalf was going to happen regardless as he has to rotate the three No 9s.

“We have got three similar scrumhalve­s, which is nice for us in terms of our game model. I am completely aware that we haven’t been giving enough rugby to the latter two (Masimla and De Wet). So it was pre-planned two weeks ago that Godlen and Paul would play this game. Paul and Herschel will play next week.

“That rotation was result agnostic. We couldn’t go back on it even though we didn’t get the result we wanted against the Bulls. So, Herschel will have a rest this week.

“It is not entirely haphazard,” Dobson said. “Godlen and Tim have played two-and-a-half seasons together at Under-21 and Vodacom Cup. They actually know each other well. So we worked it a little bit around that.

“Warrick is not going to be back for a long time and Herschel has played quite a bit with Tim this year, so we are going to have to work with that combinatio­n.”

Dobson explained how the changes he made for this game tie in with one of their three goals.

“There are three things we are trying to balance in this tournament. Primarily and essentiall­y is to try and be in the play-offs and get as far as we can in the competitio­n. The second thing is to broaden our player base. As is well-written, we have got lots of players coming off contract at the end of next year. We have to make sure we have a reserve stock that can take us forward whether guys get offers from overseas or injuries. We can’t just rely on the same guys.

“Thirdly, we need to realise where we are going to be playing rugby in the future and that’s in the northern hemisphere. What’s been pleasing for us is how we change our territory game and how our setpiece has developed. There are other challenges we have got that we need to get right. We have maybe gone off plan once or twice, which cost us last weekend. When you are playing in northern-hemisphere conditions, you have to be absolutely rigid in your plan.”

Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (capt), 5 JD Schickerli­ng, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacemen­ts: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Jaco Coetzee, 25 Kade Wolhuter, 26 Rikus Pretorius

 ?? | BackpagePi­x ?? HERSCHEL Jantjies.
| BackpagePi­x HERSCHEL Jantjies.

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