Mitchell: My worst crisis ever

2012-03-21 09:45

Cape Town - Lions coach John Mitchell has described their current injury crisis as the worst he's ever experienced in his coaching career.

After losing some of their props and centres, a hooker, lock, flank and wing over the last few weeks, they now appear to have a crisis at scrumhalf as well.

Michael Bondesio is struggling with a hamstring injury, while replacement scrumhalf Tian Meyer injured his back in practice on Monday.

They are hopeful that Meyer will be ready to face the Stormers on Saturday but it's a position in which they can hardly afford to lose personnel after the departure of Jano Vermaak and Rory Kockott last year.

Next in line at scrumhalf is former Shark Ross Cronjé, who fell behind Meyer in the pecking order after an injury in pre-season.

Another scrumhalf, Whestley Moolman from the Leopards, is also injured. This means that Rudy Paige, the University of Johannesburg's scrumhalf in the Varsity Cup, might be called upon as backup. Another option would be to play centre Doppies la Grange at No 9 - something he has done with success in the past.

The Lions' other injury casualties are: Elton Jantjies (flyhalf), CJ van der Linde (prop) en Wikus van Heerden (lock), JC Janse van Rensburg (prop) and Alwyn Hollenbach (centre).

"This is the biggest injury list I have seen in my 16 years as a coach in professional rugby," Mitchell told the Beeld newspaper.

"On most occasions there are two or three (injuries) per week you have to contend with. Now we have 33% of our senior group - and about 10 players that would have been certain of a spot in the starting line-up - out. But there's no room for excuses."

Their clash against the Stormers at Coca-Cola Park kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday evening.


  • Colin - 2012-03-21 10:02

    Play Doppies at 9

  • Hein - 2012-03-21 10:12

    I love his mindset.... "But there's no room for excuses."

      Jason - 2012-03-21 10:37

      It doesnt mean much when the first comments were excuses, for years Super Rugby coaches have said in order to win the comp you need depth. Yes they have more than the usual but its not the first time this has happened to a team. it gives the youngsters an opportunity to shine!

      Lion - 2012-03-21 14:00

      To all Stormers supporters. Please let it be known that no Lions supporter is looking for excuses for anything. We accept the situation we are in although it is a tough one. We will pitch up and play with whatever we have. No excuses. Come what may, I can assure that all our players will give their best and in the end "IF" we loose we will not hang our head in shame. We will still shake your hand and have a beer afterwards. We accept fate and all the guys can do in this situation is... their best. I am the first to wish you good luck and I will also be the fist to congratulate you "IF" you pull it off. I will personally do this on this blog after the game. Until then, please don't win the game before you even got on a plane. Remember the CC semi last year?.... Anyway, good luck... and Isak... SHUT UP!!!

      hannes.handogg - 2012-03-21 14:38

      @Lion. Die leeus is altyd op hulle gevaarlikste as die opposisie hulle onderskat. Niks is gewen tot die eind fluitjie blaas nie. Good luck vir die game. Stormers groete.

      Lion - 2012-03-21 15:35

      @Hannes Dieselfde vir jou my vriend. Rugby is 'n snaakse game wat met 'n ovaal bal gespeel word. Enigiets kan op die dag gebeur. Klein verswakte spanneties het in die verlede al baie van die "groot" spanne se drome in die hek laat duik. Dis elke man se reg en voorreg om sy span te support en dis goed as die manne mekaar gas gee. Dit wys my dat rugby nog gesond is in ons land. Ek word nie kwaad oor sulke goed nie en kap maar net met ietsie terug so nou en dan. Dinge gaan net beter raak vir ons op alle vlakke van SA rugby en dis goed as ons panne goed vaar. Geniet die rugby die naweek.

  • Priester - 2012-03-21 10:26

    Doppies at 9 seems to be the best solution as he is no slouch in this position. Failing which it may be an option to borrow Bolla Two Step Conradie from the Stormers. :-))) Blou Bul Groete!

      Paulus - 2012-03-21 10:40

      isak, u said the same crap before the currie cup semi when the lions smoked u with all your boks, your views are shocking! point

      David - 2012-03-21 11:07

      Sounding like a Bull supporter there Isak, tread carefully

      Japjapjap - 2012-03-21 13:18

      @saki- verstik jy??? niks meer papsak! drink meer BULL, Pink BULL. hoop jy word gou gesond.......

      Pete - 2012-03-21 13:47

      @Isak I am with you, Stormers are going to give the Lions a hiding!

      Lion - 2012-03-21 13:50

      Isak... Dis alweer jy. Het jy nie ore nie. Ek het al soveer gese jy moet SHUT UP!!! Jy verveel almal hier. Het jy nie werk nie?

      Lion - 2012-03-21 15:38

      Isak Goed vir jou. Jammer jou biljoene kan nie vir jou 'n BREIN koop nie ne. Stormers tatta!!!

  • hannes.handogg - 2012-03-21 10:39

    Dammit!! I only have Stormers by 9 on Superbru!! Should have made it 29!

  • David - 2012-03-21 10:54

    Get used to this folks. While Sanzar treats the players as commodities, player burnout and injuries are only going to get worse. Who can possibly cope with a third of your squad injured? Today it's the Lions, tomorrow it may be our turn. It's no longer the best team who wins, but rather the side who can best patch up what little they have left. Big thumbs down to Sanzar, useless greedy idiots

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-21 12:20

      David, it's professional sports entertainment, not amateur hour. We gain some things and we have lost others. Player fatigue will happen but the stakes are higher. TTFU.

      David - 2012-03-21 13:03

      Not sure what your point is. People like to throw professionalism into the ring as a 'deal with it' solution but the body can only take so much. The tournament started without Beast, Carter, McCaw, Cooper, Alberts and a lot more. That's a lot of tournament favourites to be missing. Your utility players are going to be worth their weight in gold these next few season. Something that's probably been a little bit of a liability at the Sharks but will now give us the edge. Alberts can play lock, flank and eighth-man. Lambie can play flyhalf and fullback. Pieterson can play centre and wing. Injuries will happen and unless teams contract NFL sized squads, teams will suffer if they have too many specialist position players. Just another reason why Steyn is going to be a massive boost for the Sharks.

  • Pomene - 2012-03-21 11:43

    I believe this is clever marketing to make everybody think they are below par and come Saturday all of a sudden there are some miracle recoveries - surely Allistair should not fall for this trick anymore !!! Stormesr be aware this Lions team is dangerous and could beat any RSA team on the day if they click !

      Lion - 2012-03-21 14:06

      Pomene You are so right my friend. But I suppose we will have to wait and see what the scoreboard say in the end hey. Some people might be red faced afterwards. GO LIONS!!!!

      David - 2012-03-21 14:43

      Like the Bulls, all the pressure is on the Stormers. Imagine they lost to a severely depleted Lions side

      David - 2012-03-21 21:25

      There's no shame in losing to a firing Reds side. So let me put it this way Raven - would you not be worried if you lost at Loftus to a Reds side missing Cooper, Ioane, Lucas and Harris?

  • Melt - 2012-03-21 11:45

    Alhowel ek n Stormer ondersteuner is weet ek waar ons swakplek le. Glo dit as jy wil maar dit is by die hantering van die bal. J de V was in my oe nog altyd n baie goeie speler maar sodra hy onder druk is smyt hy die bal wild weg. 40% van sy aangee gaan verlore of word deur teenstanders onderskep. Nog 20% kry sy spanmaat die bal en teenstander gelyktydig. Nick Koster het dieselfde probleem en dit steek aan by die ander spelers. Die Lions het niks te verloor nie en gaan alles insit om die veel beter teenstander te klop. Hou dus dop vir n onderskepdrie of twee........

  • WP - 2012-03-21 11:57

    Mitchell:My worst crisis ever= STORMERS !!!!! You (the lions)were lucky the last time,sorry Pussy Cats you're history

      Shane - 2012-03-21 12:20

      like all u trophy chasers , without the lions u guys wouldnt have ur players ...... think bout it how many players started their careers at the lions , brits, habanna ,victor,fourie.... lions is the team all players wish to staRT AT ,,,,,,never underestimate the lions as they are a young sqaud who wants tpo be better than the old ballies

      WP - 2012-03-21 12:37

      @Shane, Victor started at the blue bulls then he moved to griekwas ,before he played for the cats.

      WP - 2012-03-21 12:47

      Schalk Brits started at Stomers/WP,get your facts straight bru.

      Lion - 2012-03-21 14:13

      WP is die Rottweiler en Isak die Jack Russel. Groot hond blaf en kleintjie beaam dit. Swape!!!

  • Christo - 2012-03-21 11:58

    Melt ek hoor wat jy se en glo my ek is maar op my senuwes oor Saterdag, ek gaan glad nie so ver met voorspellings soos die ouens hierbo gese het nie. Die Leeus kan hoe verswak wees maar as hul teen Stormers of WP speel is dit asof hul n tenk vol Red Bul gedrink het,so ek sal glad nie so oorgerus wees nie.Hoop natuurlik my span wen,maar dit gaan taai wees.

      Melt - 2012-03-21 12:14

      @ Christo, Jy spreek baie ware woorde......ek glo dit gaan glad nie maklik vir die Stormers wees nie en sal nie verbaas wees as die Lions halftyd met n punt of twee voor is nie. Is jy steeds in Oudtshoorn? My ou skeidsregter pel Kentucky , het daar by jou alermaater skoolgehou. Groete

  • Andr√© - 2012-03-21 11:58

    Een of 2 beserings kan mens nog verstaan, maar 10? Is daar nie fout met die fiksheid of kondisioneering nie?

      Melt - 2012-03-21 12:25

      @ Andre, As ouer, het ons altyd van die kinders as die nuwe TV en rekenaar generasie gepraat........nie meer buite gespeel nie maar TV gekyk en op die rekenaar gespeel. Nou het ons die TV kinders se kinders.....speel nog minder buite en verslaaf aan TV games, facebook, Black Berry ............of het ek alweer agter geraak? Hulle word deesdae in die gym opgepomp (sterk ja......maar nie taai nie) Kan jy die dae onthou toe ons slegs 2 reserwes gehad het en daardie twee manne het omtrend nooit gespeel nie. As ek reg het was daar n Tvl of NTvl haker wat so iets soos 52 keer op die bank gesit het en nooit speelkans gekry het nie.

  • Christo - 2012-03-21 12:26

    Hi Melt. Ja nog op Oudtshoorn, maar eers van 93 af, voor dit vir 10jaar in Petoorsdorp en toe 3jaar in Paarl. Groete

  • Geoff - 2012-03-22 09:45

    All teams have huge injury problems and they are caused by this pathetic and mind-numbing "new" rugby which is based on defence, defence, defence and all because of the tackle ball situation. This was recommended by the Aussies and Kiwis to ensure quick ball and running rugby. The defending side commits few to the ruck and spreads out, line up the opposite man and crunch him - often without the ball. Hence the high injury rate of all teams. Just look at the stats!

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-03-22 11:22

    Stormers will be foolish to be complacent on Saturday and let this one slip. Injuries or not, Mitchell is a shrewd coach and will get the best out of his players.

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