Mitchell satisfied with form

2012-01-31 10:18

Johannesburg - Despite losing 26-8 to the Stormers in their opening hit-out, MTN Lions coach John Mitchell is perfectly satisfied with his team’s preparation for the upcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Mitchell returned to Johannesburg on the weekend and was impressed with some aspects of his side’s play, even though they conceded three tries and lost the game heavily on the scoreboard.

That is of little concern to the Lions coach, who didn’t allow his forwards to show too much in the game, and whose team suffered at the hands of some breakaway tries by the Stormers.

“I’m not interested in results at all. I’m not concerned at the outcome of the game – it was a first hit out, especially against a team that already had games under their belt,” Mitchell told

“What I was impressed with was our forwards, who worked hard throughout the game, and carried the ball a lot more than the opposition did. We outworked them in that area, but we have a way to go before we get to Vodacom Super Rugby and we need to be more physical.”

According to Mitchell the lineout needs a lot more work, as does match fitness for his squad, but nothing that he cannot put right before the start of the season in a few weeks time. And with eight players tasting Super Rugby match intensity for the first time, Mitchell was more than happy.

“We purposely didn’t show too much, we used one constant pattern among the forwards, to make the guys work much harder and get them closer to match fitness.”

One area of concern though was the way the game was handled, as the Lions coach believed referee Jaco Peyper could have gone to his cards a lot earlier in the game to stop the Stormers negative play. At one stage, the Stormers had only 12 men on the field, after being punished for professional fouls in the game.

“We are going to need to look at it and work with referees. The Stormers got away with killing the ball at the breakdown. Jaco (Peyper) could have given yellow cards a lot earlier,” Mitchell explained.

“They (the Stormers) certainly won’t get away with that in the Super Rugby tournament. The three tries scored against us were all from our own errors and we presented ourselves too narrow on attack. We still have a good month to go before the competition and we will keep working hard so that in a few weeks we are exactly where we want to be.”

With the Lions still assessing whether their game against the Kings will be of proper value to them given they are likely to face a weaker side, the training regime becomes all the more important for the Currie Cup champions.


  • Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 10:38

    It's only the Stormers and their supporters who cares about the meaningless result.

      Lionel - 2012-01-31 10:43

      If I were a Bull supporter and thats a massive If,i would worry about the Kings Saturday,imagine reading Bulls lose to Kings AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!

      Nic - 2012-01-31 11:10

      ...and there's Lionel again. Got to hand it to you Lione, always on your post. ;^) Do us a favour and tell us now, where do you see the Stormers ending this year? Kom groot seun.

      Saffa - 2012-01-31 11:14

      @Lionel - hehehehehehe, I am counting down the seconds to that game.....Spies's debut as captain....His forwards are going to struggle to stifle their giggles when Spies starts screeching, "Tackle hulle backwards manne...."

      Lionel - 2012-01-31 11:19

      Morning Nic,always on my post,mate,imagine how boring your life would be without As for my beloved Stormers,things will be a bit tough this year with a lack of depth in certain positions but nontheless I still think we will end in the Top 6!!!!!

      Nic - 2012-01-31 11:24

      Wow Lionel, that's not like you to be humble and realistic? As a real anti-Stomers fan I think your team might surprise you this year, third time lucky maybe...

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 11:26

      Lionel, dis net nog n meaningless game. Die Bulle worry net oor games wat saak maak. Nie soos die Stormers wat in Januarie peak nie.

      Lionel - 2012-01-31 11:44

      Morning Saffa,LOL I hope they televise that game!!!! Nic,I never shoot my mouth off about my team winning the Super title. Hope you are right about my team though!!!! Dozey,it might be a meaningless game but to know that a Super rugby side got klapped by a side thats not even playing CC,that my friend is embarrasing!!!!!!!!!

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 12:09

      Maar Lionel, dit het nie saak gemaak.

      Saffa - 2012-01-31 12:39

      @Dozey - but the last game of the round robin section last year against the Sharks (at Moftus nogals) DID count..........and we all know who flew off to New Zealand the next week for the playoffs.....

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 13:04

      Saffa, you are right. We lost when it mattered. Our buddy gooinat were talking about a measly warm up game, though.

      Saffa - 2012-01-31 13:13

      @Dozey - why won't Alwyn come back to the forum???? The S15 will not be the same without our marathon running Bulls 'babe'.

      Bulldozer - 2012-01-31 13:18

      I'm not sure. I think he'll be back by then.

  • hannes.handogg - 2012-01-31 10:40

    You mean 28 - 6. Get it right! Stormers!!!!!

      hannes.handogg - 2012-01-31 10:41

      26 - 8, my arse!

      Lucas - 2012-01-31 10:45

      This year,watch this year,...still no silverware not even the vodacom cup

      hannes.handogg - 2012-01-31 11:02

      Uhm, okay Lucas. Are you sure you replied to the right comment my friend? I believe you must have my comment mistaken with some other person who claimed that WP is DEFINITELY going to win the Super 15 this year. I simply said that the author had the score wrong. Terribly sorry to have wasted your time like this. So long.

  • Ken - 2012-01-31 10:40

    So now we know what the coach thought and planned!........and not what Rob Houwing assumed was our best game!

  • dssteyn - 2012-01-31 11:42

    12 players on the park and we still won, Not worried about the score? That's the ONLY thing that matters at the end of the game... getting the points. Blame the ref for not being strict enough, keep relying on that and you'll still finish 14th in the Super Rugby Tourney.

      Nico - 2012-01-31 12:35

      12 players for the last 5 minutes, that really does not have an effect on the game. at least Mich knows what he is doing :) GO LIONS!!!

  • Werner - 2012-01-31 12:12

  • Gerhard Grobler - 2012-01-31 12:43

    Het die Stormers manne pay gekry, klink my hulle is reeds voos geteeg aan daai papsak...

  • Louis - 2012-01-31 14:22

    John het darem n plan vir die Superreeks wat nog kom, hierdie games beteken niks voor die reeks begin nie, go Lions!!

  • Juan - 2012-01-31 18:27

    Go LIONS!!!!!

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