Mitchell: We deserved to lose
Johannesburg - Dejected Lions coach John Mitchell was desperate for his team to start gelling after they went down 32-18 to the Bulls in the trans-Jukskei derby at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday night.
While the Bulls drew level on points with SA conference leaders the Stormers, the Lions were left rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby standings.
"It's not bad luck. We deserved to lose," Mitchell said after the game.
With a bye in the next round of matches, the Lions mentor said his charges would use the opportunity to ponder their season thus far.
Following a number of injury setbacks, the Lions were further thwarted by the Pretoria visitors, failing in their attempt to climb off the bottom rung of the ladder as they were handed their sixth straight defeat.
"It'll be good for the guys to get away from rugby," Mitchell said.
"They need to reflect on where we are [as a team] and where they are as individuals. At this point we need to learn to work as a team because we're not there yet."
The Bulls, on the other hand, would savour the win against their Gauteng neighbours, according to head coach Frans Ludeke.
Celebrations, however, would be short-lived as the Pretoria outfit geared up for a crunch encounter with the Brumbies in Pretoria.
"We would like to regroup and enjoy this one, but on Monday we'll be back at work," Ludeke said.
The Brumbies stormed to a 37-6 victory over the Rebels earlier on Saturday to remain in top spot in the Australian conference standings.
"The Brumbies played well today - they had a good win - and they're a tough team to beat," Ludeke said.
The Sharks were the only other South African side to pick up a win this weekend, defeating the Blues 29-23 in the final match of their Australasian tour in Auckland on Friday.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the Cheetahs went down 39-33 against the Chiefs in Bloemfontein, and the Stormers lost 31-24 in their clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.