Jantjies reaches 1,000 Super Rugby points as Lions triumph

Johannesburg (AFP) –


Golden Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies became the fifth player to score 1,000 Super Rugby points by contributing 17 to a 47-39 victory over the Jaguares in Johannesburg Saturday.

The Springbok joins New Zealanders Dan Carter (1,708 points) and Beauden Barrett (1,118), South African Morne Steyn (1,431) and Australian Stirling Mortlock (1,036) in the exclusive club.

He reached 1,000 points after 17 minutes from his first goal-kicking opportunity of the round 4 encounter, successfully converting the first try of the match by Rhyno Herbst.

Jantjies scored the second try and slotted six of seven conversion attempts to finish the match on 1,015 points.

It was also a memorable match for Super Rugby run-on debutant Wandisile Simelane, who scored one of the Lions' seven tries and was voted man of the match.

The Argentines were facing a hiding when they trailed 47-13 on 51 minutes, but fought back to score four tries and miss out by just one point on a losing bonus point.

They would have got the bonus point for losing by less than eight points had Matias Moroni not hurried a drop-kick conversion and missed after his try under the posts.

Ahead by seven tries to two at one stage, the Lions seemed assured of a bonus point for scoring at least three more than the Jaguares, but the late collapse put paid to that.

Both teams were guilty of poor defending at sun-drenched Ellis Park with many of the 13 tries coming from mistakes rather than creativity.

But the result meant far more than the way it was achieved for the Lions, runners-up in the past three Super Rugby finals, after two successive losses.

It also confirmed the superiority of the South Africans over the South Americans this season having won a much tighter tussle 25-16 in Buenos Aires last month.

Hooker Malcolm Marx, standing in as Lions skipper for injured Warren Whiteley, said the victory foundations were laid at the set pieces.

"We were much better at the scrums and line-outs than last weekend," he said, referring to a humiliating 18-point home loss to neighbours the Northern Bulls.

Courtnall Skosan (two), Herbst, Jantjies, Kwagga Smith, Simelane and Marnus Schoeman were Lions' try scorers with the rest of the points coming from the boot of Jantjies.

Julian Montoya (two), Ramiro Moyano, Gaspar Balduncier, Moroni and Joaquim Tuculet scored tries for the Jaguares.

Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and a penalty and Juan Cruz Mallia two conversions for the visitors, who trailed 26-13 at half-time.