Mitchell: Butch's defence key

2011-05-19 22:19

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg - The Lions know the Waratahs will offer a sterner test than the Brumbies and that is why they will approach Saturday's Super Rugby match in Sydney differently.

Coach John Mitchell said on Thursday that the inclusion of flyhalf Butch James and centre Doppies la Grange could be decisive in the clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.

"The Waratahs are tougher opponents and our defence has to be good. Experience also played a part and we are going into this match with probably the most experienced side we could select," said Mitchell.

The inclusion of experienced players such as James and La Grange led to the dropping of Elton Jantjies and Dylan des Fountain.

"We know the Waratahs are a clinical side that will focus on our set phases. Their record on defence is also very good. It will be our task to try and frustrate them," the Lions coach explained his team's approach.

If the Lions are able to prevent the Waratahs from executing their game plan, the frustration may lead to over-eagerness and mistakes.

Mitchell said that his team was positive, but not necessarily because of the 29-20 win over the Brumbies.

"It (the attitude) has been good all along. We just worked for one another at the weekend and focused on our strengths. We did the little things right. But this weekend it's a different matter altogether."

Mitchell wants his team to command respect and knows you don't just get it in this tournament.

He said that he was impressed by Jantjies' performance at flyhalf against the Brumbies, but that James's defence could be crucial against the Waratahs.

"It's good to see that Elton has his confidence back," said Mitchell.

Meanwhile, the Waratahs are under pressure from their supporters to play more exciting rugby. A match against the bottom-of-the-table Lions is seen as a chance to "put it right".


15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Sosene Anesi, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson

Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Kane Douglas, 19 Hugh Perrett, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Tom Kingston

15 Jaco Taute, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Doppies la Grange (captain), 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Butch James, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Dylan Des Fountain


  • tristan.p.harrop - 2011-05-19 23:08

    lets go lions,lets keep this momentum!!!

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-20 05:52

    Go Lions!!!

  • sakkie - 2011-05-20 06:29

    Butch ! your time to shine buddy.....just hope you don't turn out the same as Spencer ! I am however going to enjoy the fact that Doppies will be playing with Butch, Tah's will have their hands full in the back-line !

  • Marcell - 2011-05-20 06:55

    Kom ons kyk of mister Butch 80 minute op die veld kan bly. Hier kom 'n geel kaart in die eerste helfte. Doppies is die mees onderskatte senter in SA maar omdat hy nie in daai 'wereldklas' agterlyn van die stompies speel nie sal hy nooit die geleentheid kry nie.

      Skiballas - 2011-05-20 09:21

      wel nou speel hy langs n wereldklas losskakel...en asb tog f#k, dis nie meer 2003 nie, so die "butch is n geelkaart" dientjie is nou al afgesaag. hou op om n holklont te wees, en ondersteun een van SA se beste losskakels nog!

      Juan - 2011-05-20 09:51

      Ja en die strompies het mos al klaar die super 15 gewen die jaar, haha julle het nog n paar games om te speel en dit lyk nie goed nie. Soos gewoonlik weer uit die bus uitgeval....

      Raven - 2011-05-20 15:33

      Juan - hahaha daar moer jy uit die bus uit - waar is die Stormers op die SA log.....o ja heel bo!!!

  • Lou - 2011-05-20 07:06

    Butch en defence in die selfde sin. Dis seker n laat April fools joke. Butch kan net shoulder charge en hoog vat ek weet nie waar die media en n paar butch fans aan die idee kom dat hy kan verdedig nie, tsk tsk tsk.......

  • rugby_guru - 2011-05-20 07:23

    Good luck Lions and to your supporters, big game I truly hope you pull it off! Don't let my superbru picks down please :D

  • Preshan - 2011-05-20 07:40

    This Michael Rhodes kid is good, one to watch for the future

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-20 16:18

      Keep half an eye on Jaco Taute, great talent for the future. Agree, Rhodes is good!

  • scotwat7 - 2011-05-20 08:00

    Butch show Stein how a real fly half plays rugby!

  • Draconian - 2011-05-20 08:06

    "Come on my Boytjies!" We all have faith in you guy's! as I posted on the Aussie blog " I hope the Lions put the Tah's supporters foot in there mouths, so to speak!" they are expecting a walk over here for this match! Show them what you guy's are made of! & James don't make a hash of this trying too show off! We want a win! not a squander! "GO LIONS!!!!!"

  • kameeldoring - 2011-05-20 08:41

    Lyk alhoemeer na n span, en n goeie bank ook. Gaan voluit LIONS!!!!!!!!!!

  • georgemtem - 2011-05-20 08:44

    go go go lions....can some1 tell me where waylon murray is? Is he on the injured list?

      kameeldoring - 2011-05-20 09:00

      He's injured.

  • The Goose - 2011-05-20 09:51

    Go lions!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-05-20 16:20

    Lion's midfield look better than Sharks' on paper. Yes, yes, yes - I know rugby is not played on paper :) Go Lions, smack those Ozzies.

  • Marshall - 2011-05-20 17:06

    Oh hell!! I really feel for the Lions, and would love to see them do well (consistently), but if they are pinning their hopes on Butch, they are pretty much beyond repair. Please Lions, prove me wrong; I would hate to see the "Kings" take your Super Rugby spot. PS: Jantjies did an awesome job last week, he deserves a decent run. Lions have nothing to lose, so why waste the opportunity. Chin up Elton, your time will come around again when Butch forgets he has four limbs.

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