Debutant Herschel Jantjies proved the star of the show as South Africa beat Australia 35-17 in the opening match of the Rugby Championship. The Stormers’ scrum-half got the ball rolling for the Springboks after just 10 minutes of Saturday’s Test at Ellis Park with a converted try and they moved further ahead thanks to a score from Lood de Jager, despite the fact Andre Esterhuizen was sin-binned at the time for a high tackle.
Australia then reduced the arrears through Dane Haylett Petty, but South Africa still held a 14-10 advantage at half-time. After the break, Rassie Erasmus’ side took further control, with Jantjies grabbing his second try, as well as scores from S’busiso Nkosi and Cobus Reinach that ultimately helped South Africa to a bonus-point win.
Jantjies contributed 20 of South Africa’s points in total and he left the field to rapturous applause when he was replaced after 65 minutes. The 23-year-old has done his chances of earning a place in Erasmus’ World Cup squad no harm at all and he will be hoping to get a chance to impress further when the Springboks travel to Wellington to take on world champions New Zealand in their second match of this year’s Rugby Championship next weekend.