News24

Lions rue poor second half

2012-04-01 13:30

Johannesburg - Lions coach John Mitchell grumbled about his side’s second-half performance in their 23-13 Super Rugby defeat to the Crusaders at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.

It was also a rare sight to see both coaches from the winning and losing sides looking as disappointed in their troops as Mitchell and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder did after the match.

It was the Crusaders’ unconvincing performance that fuelled Mitchell’s torment.

"I thought they (Crusaders) deserved their win, they are an exceptional side, and they suffocated us and drilled our forward pack in the second half," Mitchell said.

The Lions had the better of their more esteemed opponent for most of the first half and enjoyed a 13-10 lead going into the half-time break.

The tourists, however, turned the tables shortly after half-time with a converted try and a penalty goal.

"I think the nine minutes after half-time was the turning point of the fixture, we didn’t control the possession and they had territory and we were inaccurate again lineout wise," said Mitchell.

"It is obvious to everyone that our lineouts aren’t working as well as they should at the moment."

While the Lions’ second half performance was atrocious, they showed great potential in the first half with the hosts dominating the tight phases.

The lineouts have been a concern for Mitchell’s men all season and after a decent showing in the first stanza, they once again lost the plot in the second.

"The effort is great but we’ve got three or four guys that have four caps in Super Rugby in the forward pack and they need to realise they need to step up," Mitchell said.

"Not delivering a lineout is unacceptable."

An equally forlorn skipper Josh Strauss bemoaned the manner in which the team let the game slip out of their control.

"I think in our first half we did really well and then those 10 minutes after half-time we let them in, that was a great blow for morale and it was a big struggle from there on," said Strauss.

"It was one or two silly penalties, three points, six points, and then just playing catch-up. You never want to do that, but we have to start showing heart for 80 minutes."

Among all the doom and gloom of injury blows and lost opportunities, the Lions received a glimmer of hope with the return of Lionel Mapoe and Elton Jantjies off the bench.

"Lionel (Mapoe) is certainly short of a gallop, it is pretty obvious to everyone but he’s got back to fitness and he should get sharper," Mitchell said.

"Andries (Coetzee) is showing exceptional ability, defensively he still has a lot to learn, and the experiential learning he is getting is phenomenal. It is great for him, he certainly is ambitious as a footballer, and he has a great kick on him out of hand so he is very exciting." Blackadder was also disappointed in his team's performance.

"It is a good start in the context that we got a win but we are really disappointed in the way we started and the way we performed tonight. Really, really inaccurate," said the Crusaders coach.

"I was a lot happier with the second half performance and that is why I am so disappointed. We needed to start better and it just took a bit of attitude adjustment at half-time."

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Comments
  • Lion - 2012-04-01 14:10

    Josh Strauss: ""It was one or two silly penalties, three points, six points, and then just playing catch-up. You never want to do that, but we have to start showing heart for 80 minutes." It was more like 10 stupid penalties... Discipline Sir!!!! You did the same against the Stormers. How many times do you have to bump your head in the same spot? TAKE the 3 pointer when it is on the cards and start again!!!!!!! Who does the tactical and technical analysis of the opposition at the Lions? FIRE him now! I said it on a previous blog. Dan Carter is a few yards slower after his injury. Attack his channel and exploit it. Don't fear the man's name and reputation. It's human to nurse an injury for the first few games after an injury like the one he had. Run the big boys hard and strait at him. Make him tackle and you will expose a weakness there. You have a young team which is full of raw talent that has to be developed, but these guys have heart and guts. Josh you are a good leader and a good player. Do something about this and stop with the same excuses every week. Maybe you will win something then. GO LIONS!!!!!

      Ren%c3%a9 - 2012-04-01 14:39

      Ganit Lion? Ek verstaan jou frustrasie, maar daar is "self belief' in jou span, dit is hoekom hulle dit doen! Die dag as dinge 'click' is dit 'n ander storie. Die Bulle het dieselfde foute gemaak, 'n mens raak oproerig met jou span wannneer ons dink hulle moet dinge anders doen. Julle het nie sleg gevaar nie, MAAR, ek glo julle kon teen hulle gewen het. Hou jou kop hoog, ek dink ons SA spanne doen great. Die NZ spanne lyk my is nog op die 'WC cloud' en wat met die Ausies aangaan, sal net hulle weet. Sterkte en moet nooit moed opgee nie. Vir nou, is dit jou T20 span teen myne - GO TITANS!!! Enjoy!

      Lion - 2012-04-01 16:41

      Hallo Rene, Jammer oor die Bulle man. So naby maar ai so vêr! Jou span is goed. Dit was maar net nie hulle dag nie. Hulle sal daai result omdraai. Ek is vol moed vir die Leeus. Ons het nog nie hierdie seisoen een verloor gehad waaroor ons rerig hoef skaam te voel nie (touch wood). Die games was almal close en elke result kon net sowel vir ons gegaan het. Dan was dit 'n ander prentjie gewees op die log. Dis net frustrerend as jy sien hulle maak dieselfde foute game na game. Dit gese, ek weet hulle sal binnekort hulle seisoen omdraai na iets positief toe en hulle gaan paar groot spanne nog verras. Vir Bok rugby sien ek net glorie voor. Met al die jong talent wat nou deurkom is ons in lyn om die volgende 2 world cups te wen en alle rugby te oorheers. Op hierdie stadium van die geveg is ons ligjare voor die Kiwi's en Aussies wat jong talent betref. Ek hoop net hulle stick met Heyneke (hopelik vir die volgende 8 jaar) en los politiek uit rugga uit. Die meeste talent is nou maar 23 en 24 jaar oud en as hy met die manne kan werk oor 'n lang tydperk is SA rugga weer koning. Wat is die laaste wat jy weet van Dozey? Ek verstaan nie die hele storie so lekker nie. Weet nie of mens dit moet glo of nie. As dit die waarheid is dat hy wel oorlede is gaan hierdie blogs leeg wees. Ai, die man is een van sy soort en ek sal sy humor baie mis. Die ou suurgatte sal dalk bly wees maar dit sal 'n groot loss wees. Sterkte vir jou span vorentoe. Hulle gaan kook hierdie jaar. Cheers

      Lion - 2012-04-01 17:12

      Sakkie ek weet nie ou maat. Dis maar 'n sad dag om daai nuus te hoor. Weet nie lekker of ek dit moet glo en of dit April fool joke is nie. Sal probeer ondersoek instel.

  • Ken - 2012-04-01 14:29

    good blog.always take the points

      Lion - 2012-04-01 17:10

      Hallo Sakkie, Lieflike Sondag seker vir jou in die Kaap my maat. Geluk met jou span. Jy slaap seker ook nou rustiger ne.... hahaha

  • boltonbarry - 2012-04-01 17:41

    Hoe nice is dit om komentaar te sien wat rugby ondersteuners nie sleg sê en afkraak nie. nice

      Lion - 2012-04-01 17:56

      Boltonbarry... Provinsialisme sal altyd bestaan in ons rugby. Dit is wat dit gesond hou. Ek hou daarvan. Elke man het sy span en die chirps en tong in die kies comments is gesond en baie goed. Dit is wat die blogs ook interessant maak. Mens moet egter provinsialise en ook jou trots so bietjie in die sak steek en 'n span en sy supporters krediet gee en geluk wens as hulle goed doen. Daar is geen skande daarin nie. Ek is die eerste een wat my span kritiseer as hulle swak speel, maar boeta as hulle wen kry jy nie my bek stil nie. Dit gaan in die ou end oor die game rugby waarvoor ons almal so lief is. Daar sal altyd verskonings wees as 'n man se span verloor en altyd groot pratery voor die tyd. Dis lekker en bou op tot groot verwagtinge en maak dat manne uitsien na wedstryde. Ek dink vandag is almal maar ook aan die stil kant met die nuus dat een van die gereelde bloggers hier gesterf het op pad na die rugby toe. Dis nou nog onduidelik of dit so is. Ek dink daaroor is die atmosfeer maar somber. Rugby sal altyd wen aan die einde, maak nie saak hoe sterk provinsialisme is nie. Groetnis

  • Alan - 2012-04-02 06:11

    Well I blame the Lions for the poor 2nd half. You lie in ambush for the SA teams (like the Stormers the week before) and then roll over and play dead against international opposition. You put all your effort into ambushing teams like the Cheetahs, Bulls, Stormers, etc and then play dead when Dan Carter turns up - you suck! Sort it out, work together the way the Aussie and Kiwi frachises work together in turning over "foreign" opposition Remember how the Cheetahs did this year in and year out, ambushing the Sharks, etc and now that they focus on winning 16 matches they are starting to win consistently overseas. Come on Lions join the party and win something over in NZ and Oz - stupids!

  • Jody - 2012-04-02 10:58

    Butch distibuted the ball well and kekt Lions going forward. Also Crusaders was not sure what Butch was going to do next and defended behind the advantage line hence Lions had plenty go forward ball in first half. Once Butch was shifted the defended across advantage line putting Lions on backfoot , then gained ascendancy at ruck time and got onto front foot. GAME OVER!!. Mapoe played like a Vodacom starter and was exploited badly. Should have kept Butch at flyhalf , brought Taute to centre and Jantjies at fullback.Might have worked! Go Lions

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