Mitchell: We deserved to lose

2012-04-15 12:46

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.


  • Nico - 2012-04-15 12:57

    Mitch, take a few days off and then start the season from new, Brumbies is next at home, should take them with a bonus point. GO LIONS!!!

  • Jason - 2012-04-15 13:03

    Cant be any fun in the Lions camp at the moment!

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-15 13:27

    Lions were beaten by the bench setters of SA Rugby, the Bulls, who have won 3 Super Rugby titles. The Bulls were always going to thrash them. Lions MUST BE relegated to make way for the Super Kings in 2013

      David - 2012-04-16 07:31

      You are such an idiot. The Lions in warm up match beat them by 80 points. What do you think, they will be better. Not a chance. Maybe you should apply for coach of the EP Kings/ Southern Spears

  • Andre - 2012-04-15 15:11

    As long as the Lions continue to dish up this kind of performance,they will continue losing. The tight 5 aren't dominating and the line out set piece is a nightmare. The way the Lions play now I don't think they will even make it in the CC this year.\r\nPlease get rid of all the passengers on the bus and scout players who really want to win matches for the union/franchise

  • Selma - 2012-04-15 15:54

    The Lions won the Currie Cup in a World Cup year. They are at best a Currie Cup team and do not belong in the Super 15. No one disputes their courage and tenacity and talent but with the exception of two or three players are simply not strong enough. The Lions and Cheetahs need to combine as Cats if they want to continue. As for the Kings - what a joke that will be.

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-04-16 08:28

      The cheetahs are growing from a Currie Cup team to real Super Rugby team. It takes time and player experience. The lions sheds experienced players like food poisoning sheds excrement... :'(

      Bomb - 2012-04-16 11:15

      What a stupid comment.......Lions and Bulls are 60km apart, why not combine them for the Super 15?????? Cheetahs are already combined out of Free State, Griffons and Griquas. How do you manage a combined team based 400km apart???? The previous attempt failed. The SA team ending last in Super 15 should play a best of three promo/relegation decider against the Kings. Winner takes up the 5th spot for SA. Kings are anyway gonna be a laughing embarrassment for SA Rugby.

  • Gareth - 2012-04-16 08:20

    Mitchell, I take my hat off to you!!! You are doing what you can with what you have. and no-one can blame you as a coach! I can imagine that, you are taking more stress than anyone in your franshise!

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