Reaction: Jantjies praised for clear thinking as Baa-baas stun Pumas

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Elton Jantjies secured a place in Barbarians’ history with the drop-goal that secured a 38-35 win over Argentina in a thrilling Killik Cup match at Twickenham, writes Stewart McCullough.

The South Africa fly half’s cool move to drop back into the pocket and drill over the kick was an emphatically match-winning decision.

It was also a rarity in its own right. He was the first Barbarians player to land a drop goal in 24 years. 

The last one was kicked by Scotland’s Craig Chalmers in a famous 23-15 win against South Africa at Lansdowne Road on December 3, 1994.

“It was my responsibility to win the game for the boys, but overall the team showed great character to not just win for the sake of winning, but to actually put the work in,” said Jantjies.

“We had a good training week — it was fun and the boys really bought into what the plan was and we just wanted to go out there and enjoy ourselves because that’s what it’s all about.

Elton Jantjies

Elton Jantjies lets fly with the winning kick

“We have been a united group with no egos and we did everything together. We wanted to spend time with one another as you can always learn from someone else and on a personal level it’s been a nice experience.”

Head coach Rassie Erasmus was delighted by way Jantjies snatched the game out of Argentina’s grasp and how his whole team responded after trailing during the first half.

“He had an opportunity and he went for it, and I like it when guys make big decisions,” said Erasmus.

“We had some cool heads in the team today, which showed when we were 28-14 down at half-time — it shows the maturity of the guys and I’m happy with the result.”

Erasmus didn’t deviate from his plan to give everyone in the match day squad at least 30 minutes on the pitch and the Barbarians “finishers” delivered by wrestling control of the game away from the Pumas after the break.

He added: “We said that all 23 players would get at least 30 minutes, so we always knew that we’d clear the bench by minute 50. 

“That was the deal during the week and there are a lot of guys who haven’t played much rugby such as Schalk Brits and Juan Manuel Leguizamon. You could see that we were running out of gas in the second half, but we had a good bench.

“Frank Lomani was excellent when he came on and Jesse Kriel had an impact too, while Elton Jantjies had a cool head at the end.”

The team spirit built during the week was amply demonstrated on the field, as Man of the Match Lood de Jager underlined.

"It's a massive privilege representing this historic club,” said de Jager, whose second half try tied the scores at 35-35.

"The guys just went out there and put everything on the line and it's good to get a win. One thing that's always guaranteed from a Baa-baas side is team spirit.”