Lions ready for 'wet' challenge
Johannesburg - The Golden Lions, despite their good start to the Currie Cup season, will have to improve if they want to stay at the top of the log, believes coach John Mitchell.
Mitchell on Tuesday made one change to his run-on side for the team’s clash against Western Province in Cape Town on Friday.
Mitchell brought Patric Cilliers into the starting XV which will see Jacobie Adriaanse moving to the bench.
“To be fair we are just taking it one week at a time, the resistance is getting greater each week and we will have to improve,” said Mitchell.
“Province are going to be desperate as a result and the conditions will be different so we will have to be flexible in the way we play.
”We will still have to do our best and everyone will have to turn up.”
Michael Rhodes will also make his return to the side giving the Lions cover at lock and openside flank from the bench.
Mitchell said it will be a challenge for his side to break through Province’s tight defensive structure.
“We know it is not all about playing in front of them it’s also about having the ability to play behind them,” he said.
Mitchell said they were expecting wet conditions in Cape Town and would have to be flexible in the way they will approach the match.
The coach explained that shifting Adriaanse to the bench was a purely a rotational move.
“I’ve brought in Pat Cilliers at tighthead because Jacobie carried most of the load at tighthead since the start of the season,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he was glad the gamble to play young talent like Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute had paid off and hoped to see more talent from within their own structures playing for him.
“We’ve always had a vision and philosophy around changing the culture and there was always a gap to introducing some enthusiasm and energy and keeping the goodness of the experience.
"At the end of the day age is not a factor it really comes down to the performance and the experience as long as that person brings enthusiasm and energy.
“Hunting players from the outside is probably not the way to build a culture for me, it is actually about getting the farm right from the inside and Elton and Jaco came from the farm previously,” said Mitchell.
Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jannie Boshoff.