Elton to the Sharks – would this make sense?

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 14 Sep 2012 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , ,

Having had a few days to mull over the ramifications of a potential Sharks move for Lions pivot Elton Jantjies, as well as digest some of the (seriously divided) opinions that others have put forward, I think I now know where I stand on the matter.

Let me preface this by stating, once again, the high esteem in which I hold Jantjies as a rugby player. I’ll admit to being sceptical of his credentials earlier in his career when I felt he was being elevated to superstar status in the so-called “court of public opinion” long before his on-field exploits actually warranted the same. My view, as always, is that I want to actually SEE these young players perform consistently on higher stages before touting them as Boks, rather than just HEARING about what they’ve done at junior level. The same logic applies to Johan Goosen, but I may be forced to concede that I’m farting against thunder where that one is concerned! As far as Jantjies goes, though, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been convinced. This kid is the real deal.

When the initial talk of a Sharks deal for Jantjies started, I immediately dismissed it as a wrong-headed thing to do, for no reason other than the fact that the Sharks have Pat Lambie and he’s our flyhalf, dammit, regardless of what Heyneke Meyer says. I then started to let my mind wander just a little bit and will admit to a few virtual goosebump moments as I imagined a Sharks backline containing both Lambie AND Jantjies and the various wondrous feats that those two players, in tandem, could achieve in the black and white. Every single one of those scenarios, though, saw Lambie in a position other than the one that fits him best and I then realised that the Sharks have fallen into this “Real Madrid” trap before, thinking that if you pack your team with enough big name stars, it doesn’t matter which position each plays in because they’ll somehow magically feed off each other and deliver the goods without the need for settled players and combinations, in their most suited positions.

This is a fantasy and I feel ashamed to admit that I entertained it, even for a minute.

The Sharks, in Lambie, have one of the best flyhalves in the world and he’s only 21. We need to back him in that position and, what’s more, allow our own “unique x-factor combination” between Lambie and Frans Steyn to settle and then flourish at the heart of the backline. We finally have good competition at outside centre, with Tim Whitehead and Paul Jordaan set to push each other all the way and we have more wings and fullback options than you can shake a stick at too. While it is always tempting to look at players like Janjties – and dare I say also the freakishly good Jaco Taute – when they’re on the market, the reality is that the Sharks do not need to contract any more backs ahead of Super Rugby next year and I believe that doing so would, in fact, do more harm than good.

The only role that Jantjies could realistically play, without damaging the team dynamic, is to be Lambie’s backup at 10. I don’t feel that such a role would be appropriate to a player of Elton’s talent or pedigree and I’m sure that the result of taking on such a position would be a deeply unhappy and frustrated player. Goodness knows you don’t want any of those in your squad. It would be far better for Elton Jantjies to become the starting flyhalf for the Stormers next year and leave Pat Lambie – and dare I say Fred Zeilinga – to look after the number 10 channel for the Sharks.


  • The Stormers will have Peter Grant as their starting flyhalf next year and he’s been in super form this year (last few years actually) so will they drop him for Elton? I don’t think so.

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.09.12 10:05:43 by ChrisS Reply
  • Great article Rob, but i have to add that with Pat`s injury problems this season, if that would happen next year with only Zeilinga as back-up, i believe it could become a long season.

    It would be great if we could have them play in tandom. Both the same type of flyhalf and they could learn alot from each other.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.09.12 10:09:36 by VanWilder Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 1) : I think Peter Grant was at the heart of them not being able to score tries. WP’s gameplan has not really changed yet with the Greek now at flyhalf they are suddenly scoring some awesome tries. Same problem we have at the Boks now. I actually think that within the game plab there is more than enough room counter attack and score some awesome tries, yet Morne is so out of form at the moment that he is stuffing every thing up. But to get back to the point, Jantjies would be better off if he goes to the Mountain Goats

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.09.12 10:11:27 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : I played with Pete at school and he was always attack minded. I think WP have altered their gameplan for the CC and moved away from a defensive mind-set.

    If Elton goes to the Stormers then what will happen to Katrakillis?

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.09.12 10:14:56 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 1) : I don’t think Grant has re-signed yet. Not sure he will. Also, jantjies is far better than him anyway. Imo.

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.09.12 10:15:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : Why not move Grant to 12? He’s played there before and is a solid defender and distributor. They could establish a partnership similar to what Carter and Mauger enjoyed at the Crusaders. It would be better than keeping JDV on.

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.09.12 10:16:08 by StevieS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 4) : demitri has already signed with the Kings. That was announced some time ago.

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.09.12 10:16:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 4) : Well according to reports he is going to the Kings, but I would love to see what the Stormers can do with him at FH. ( Yet as long as they keep losing to the Sharks πŸ˜‰ )

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.09.12 10:17:52 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I thought I saw an article somewhere that said Coetzee wasn’t sure about letting him go due to his good form at present and that he hadn’t officially signed for the Kings yet.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.09.12 10:20:53 by ChrisS Reply
  • Is Freddie not contemplating coming back? If he does, where would everyone fit?
    @VanWilder (Comment 2) : Lets not jinx Pat with injury. With our rehab program at the Sharks (apparently one of the best in SA),there is hope.

    Why spend money on Elton (who I rate) when we have Pat, Meyer & Zeilinga with Riaan or even Frans as stop gaps. Where would Louis,Riaan or Odwa fit if Pat went to fullback. We have Meyer,Tim,Paul & Frans fighting for centre berths (even MJ!). No places left for an expensive Elton.

    @ChrisS (Comment 1) : Stormers have more than enough flyhalves. Grant,Cronje,Catrikilis. Why slap Grant in the face with Jantjies when he has done excellent work for them.Looks like the Kings might be his last resort!

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.09.12 10:21:21 by markm Reply

  • I feel when elton is here we will have the same thing ahppen as this year, Elton @10 and lambie @15, thats just how it will all work out in the end. Sadly to say.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.09.12 10:22:45 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @markm (Comment 10) : Cronje is now with the Bulls

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.09.12 10:23:04 by ChrisS Reply
  • If we sign Jantjies, we have 2 capable fly-halves who will push each other to great things. I am just afraid we will see Lambie at full-back, moving Ludik (Who is in fine form) to the bench. Can we get rid of Plum already?!

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.09.12 10:25:08 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 9) : nah. He has definitely signed. Toetie is trying to shut the stable door after the horse is already munching his hay on a different farm.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.09.12 10:26:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • See how this is stuffing up SA rugby … and im loving every second of it …

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.09.12 10:28:04 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Ok. Good move for his career. Kings are starting to look decent.

    Any more news on players they’ve signed? Heard they’re announcing a player list on Wednesday.

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.09.12 10:28:21 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 12) : My bad.

    Then WP are a bit thin on the ground at FH. Would the Sharks be spiteful enough to buy Jantjies just to stop others from signing him? Would his contract have a clause to guarantee palying time? Once again all these questions. Rudolf, do you read our blog?

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.09.12 10:29:28 by markm Reply

  • Rob the one thing we have to take into consideration before making a call on whether this signing for Elton will be good, is where will Lambie play if Elton does not join the Sharks?

    He may want to continue playing at 15, as the Bok coaches has now clearly and completely bypassed him as a Flyhalf option.

    I don’t think he would be making the right decision if he does request more game time at Fullback from the Sharks, because he is clearly a better more rounded player at 10 and even looks better at 15 after having played at 10 for a while, but you never know what decision he will make.

    Next year if Lambie starts to play at 15 and we don’t have a proper 10 to take his place, we’re going to look back at this moment and wish we contracted Jantjies.

    Having said this, just because the possibility of Lambie continuing at 10 is so much bigger in Jantjies absence, I would also not consider signing a 10.

    If anything, I’d rather sign a 15, that can cover a few other position if we need it … Jaco Taute, him I would definitely sign.

    Frans Steyn gets injured – Jaco
    Louis – Jaco
    Any of the wings, any one of our centres – Jaco.

    He may have to start of the bench, but in my mind any aside from JP and Frans Steyn’s positions is his to take.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.09.12 10:32:47 by Letgo Reply
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  • @markm (Comment 17) : Stormers have Coleman, Van Aswegen and Grant. Also Tim Swiel coming through so they should be ok.

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.09.12 10:33:32 by ChrisS Reply
  • Also Taute will go back to the Lions (I assume for the Currie Cup), so any game time he gets will be a bonus for him … and game time with a team that can win more than 2 games, extra bonus.

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.09.12 10:34:17 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Agree with Rob on this one and I do so with some reluctance as Jantjies would bring a new dimension to the Stormers backline. I reckon he’d greatly increase their chances at Super Rugby success next year as well as his own bid for the Bok 10 jersey were he to join the Stormers.

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.09.12 10:34:35 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @ChrisS (Comment 1) : … added to what everyone else has said about Grant, he’ll be 29 next year. Why wouldn’t you play a promising youngster in his place?

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.09.12 10:35:27 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 22) : I’m not against a young guy coming through but we get rid of talented players too early in this country.

    Percy and Stefan played good rugby up until 35 and Ackers was 37.

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.09.12 10:41:40 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 16) :

    No boet … You really think the players the Kings have bought so far will do better than the Lions have ? and im not even being sinical . im being realistic …

    To do well in SR you need Springboks . A few of them

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.09.12 10:42:49 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I feel that if the sharks have money to spend, they must spend it on getting a specialist coach. We have all the right players and great back up. A mental coach would mean more than jantjies or taute. Maybe a proper defensive coach.

  • Comment 25, posted at 14.09.12 11:05:07 by juba_fan Reply

  • No free rides. If Elton does come this way, then it’s up to Pat to outplay him. We can’t make recruitment decisions based on one player’s interests. Pat needs to choose a position and pursue it to the max – with all the current and emerging talent at 10 & 15, he is doomed if he allows himself to be a utility back.

    That said, I’m not really in favour of signing a player for just one season. Elton is most welcome to fight for the flyhalf jersey if he is going to stick around for at least a few seasons.

  • Comment 26, posted at 14.09.12 11:09:31 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 26) : You’re right…and we started Pat off on the wrong path in wanting to have him on the field no matter where.

    Pat will have to sit down with Plum and decide on a position and stick with only that one position, no matter the competition.

  • Comment 27, posted at 14.09.12 11:35:53 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : @vanmartin (Comment 21) : @FireTheLooser (Comment 27) : @VanWilder (Comment 2) : My Sharks Heart can’t take this crap….please visit youtube for the schocker of the season, I’d rather loose to the Kings!!!!

    What The…..!!!!Β 

  • Comment 28, posted at 14.09.12 11:45:05 by BoerSeun Reply

  • before we put the cart before the horse we mustnt buy players to backup a position. we have frans, meyer & viljoen who can cover lambie. We have grown lambie why back someone else?

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.09.12 12:09:12 by Dunx Reply

  • no Elton thank you… I hope that this deal will not go through…. Lambi at 10 in SR next year….. stop mugging around……

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.09.12 12:11:24 by Franshark Reply
  • @BoerSeun (Comment 28) : ek “like” afrikaanse musiek maar nie as hulle so droog maak nie.
    Something the Shark don’t have is a good song…..

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.09.12 12:29:56 by Franshark Reply
  • Rob, agree 100%, as much as I like Elton, I want the prodigious talent of Lambie to be given every opportunity to succeed as a 10 in Sharks and Springbok colours.

    I would also prefer the Sharks to use those funds and invest in a attack coach and head doc.

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.09.12 12:53:38 by Bump Reply

  • @Franshark (Comment 31) :

    Rather worry about the rugby than a song πŸ˜›

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.09.12 12:59:14 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 33) : πŸ™‚ ok πŸ™‚

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.09.12 13:07:17 by Franshark Reply
  • The sad thing is, no matter where Elton goes, he is probably going to play second fiddle. Except the Kings maybe.

    Isn’t there a rich Japanese club somewhere that would like to lure Morne Steyn away?

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.09.12 13:11:48 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 29) : Please NOT Frans to cover Lambie, he was awful at 10! Short memories!

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.09.12 13:18:22 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • We have Bosman as fly-half cover. He is a very talented player who suffered setbacks in his career due to the coaches moving him to inside center. At a young age, he was a very promising fly-half who even played for the Boks. He has the skill to pass, the precision to kick from the tee and the vision to see the gaps

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.09.12 13:19:53 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @Orelando_G (Comment 35) : The Japanese actually love their rugby more than us. They wouldn’t want Steyn.

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.09.12 13:23:43 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I see this as a good thing – There are now 20-25 matches in a season and the difference in finishing third or 8th this year was three points. That’s one match or 3 bonus points.

    Based on those stats – can we risk being without Pat for a single game? And do we currently have a replacement who can step in and perform at the same level – The answer is currently no.

    We saw what happened to the reds this year when they were missing a flyhalf! And bok call-ups are going to disrupt from time to time to….

    Bring Elton! We need him

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.09.12 13:25:15 by byron Reply

  • @byron (Comment 39) : So Completely 100% with you!!!!

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.09.12 13:28:50 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Orelando_G (Comment 35) : The acquire players like Fourie, Kankowski, du Preez… Nah, they are not interested in a fly-half who neutralizes his own backline.

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.09.12 13:28:53 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @TRF_Ezequiel (Comment 41) : Steyn should try going to the NFL, then he only has to kick at goal without ever worrying about the “other” basics of rugby.

    Ever wondered why Steyn’s never been injured? Do yourself a favour and see how much contact he takes in a game. He’s got the deadliest side-step on defense. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 42, posted at 14.09.12 13:51:40 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @byron (Comment 39) : I think that’s a good point. Our squads are going to start becoming bigger like NFL. I think though, then you need to use the players efficiently.

    I have never really like the idea of squad rotation but in with the amount of rugby these guys are playing, they need to rest regularly in order to make it through a season.

  • Comment 43, posted at 14.09.12 13:53:10 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : Yes he should follow in Naas’ ‘footsteps’.

  • Comment 44, posted at 14.09.12 13:53:34 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I never wish injuries upon people but man, we could really do with torn ankle ligaments in Morne’s case.

  • Comment 45, posted at 14.09.12 14:07:20 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @TRF_Ezequiel (Comment 45) : Injury isn’t the solution.

    As soon as he’s over said injury, he’ll be carted right back into the no. 10 jersey and be re-elevated to his little padded pedestal where everyone is thrown to the dogs and disposed off in order to ensure that Steyn’s frail character is protected all the way through to where he is finally coached back to his former self because our coach is such a GREAT rugby brain that he’s not there to select the best our country has to offer, but he can coach the rubbish right out of a player, or kill our national team trying.

    (end of rant….for now – can someone please fire up a Bok massacre preview thread? I still have some poison that needs to be vented) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 14.09.12 14:57:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Talk around the camp fire that If Sharks sign Jantjes WP will aggressively target Lambie……

  • Comment 47, posted at 14.09.12 15:30:06 by grant10 Reply

  • @grant10 (Comment 47) : If that happens I will aggressively target whoever is targeting Lambie.

  • Comment 48, posted at 14.09.12 15:36:13 by Orelando_G Reply

  • If lambie doesnt play 10, where does he play? Forget age and where a player grew up for a moment, can anyone tell me who is a better 15 between ludik and lambie? If lambie, then why?

  • Comment 49, posted at 14.09.12 17:57:14 by cody007 Reply

  • @Franshark (Comment 31) : Actually, the Sharks probably have the best song: Spoonfeedas – Fear.

  • Comment 50, posted at 15.09.12 00:12:08 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Agree with you Rob on the Lambie situation…

    BUT Whitehead/Jordaan centre combo was our best without doubt.

    Leave Whitehead to run the show from #12

  • Comment 51, posted at 15.09.12 06:03:13 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Bottom line is we’ve lost Freddie – We need another specialist flyhalf in the squad

  • Comment 52, posted at 15.09.12 08:15:23 by byron Reply

  • For god sake sharks don’t need janjies hounestly lambie is going to leave to the uk if he keeps having to play second fiddle!!!!if elton signs wats da use of swapping fly halfs each week??????? Ludik is by fat our no 15 den if taute signs????? Don’t worry elton will sign for stomers

  • Comment 53, posted at 15.09.12 12:10:29 by balllllars Reply


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