Mitchell remains hopeful

2012-03-22 15:10

Johannesburg - Lions mentor John Mitchell believes the spate of injuries affecting his side this year could ultimately be a blessing in disguise.

Mitchell on Thursday made four changes to the team which faces the Stormers in a Super Rugby match at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday.

"It is unusual to have 33 percent of our player-list injured - which is 11 players," Mitchell said.

"I guess 10 of those players would be considered as frontliners, so it is an unusual circumstance to be in.

"However, that is what we are dealt with and you can't control or worry about broken bones and ligaments that get twisted."

He said there were some positives they could take out of the otherwise dire situation.

"The new players are integrating into a new team and they are going to get the necessary experiential learning that over time is going to bring us success again," he said.

"It is a very healthy situation and we are fortunate to have been able to prepare with this team since last Friday knowing the circumstances."

The Lions lost their encounter against the Sharks a fortnight ago and would hope to turn the corner against the Stormers.

"We are fully aware of the challenge ahead and clearly the Stormers deserve to be at the top of the conference, so we are looking forward to it," Mitchell said.

The coach shifted regular fullback Jaco Taute to outside centre with Doppies la Grange moving to his inside. Taute’s place will be filled by James Kamana.

"We don't really have any outside centres left, so Jaco has clearly played a lot there," said Mitchell about his decision to shift the talented youngster.

Mitchell was forced to change his midfield combination after Alwyn Hollenbach was injured.

Newcomer Andries Coetzee will make his debut in Super Rugby with Michael Killian shifting out of the starting XV onto the bench.

"Andre Coetzee is actually an outstanding footballer. He's got a left foot, he is very quick and he can play in numerous positions in the backline."

The Lions have a new half-back combination with Butch James partnering the Pumas scrumhalf Tian Meyer, who replaces Michael Bondesio.


15 James Kamana, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Andries Coetzee, 10 Butch James, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss (captain), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Michael Killian, 22 Ruan Combrinck

15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever


  • Sharksfever - 2012-03-22 15:17

    Mitchell by now we all know you can perform miracles. To still have Killian on the bench with 11 injuries shows this team has a lot of depth. Good to see Ross cronje on the bench.

  • Lionel - 2012-03-22 15:22

    Stormers should win this one but I will not underestimate the Lions at all!!!!

      Jason - 2012-03-22 16:55

      Unfortunately, for the Lions, Doppies is not going to contain JDV if he plays with the same intensity as last week. Stormers 4 life!

      Lionel - 2012-03-22 17:01

      Agreed there boet,JDV had one of his better games!!!Taute could be a slippery customer though!!!!

  • Colin - 2012-03-22 15:25

    Well done Mr.Mitchell. Lions will win and just keep the belief and mouth's will be closed. Lions supporter of Note.!!!!

  • WP - 2012-03-22 15:35

    The miserable have no other medicine But only hope

      Lion - 2012-03-23 07:39

      WP... SHUT UP!!!

      Papa-storm - 2012-03-23 10:06

      here we go stormers here we go

  • heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-22 15:41

    If the Lions are going to be underestimated they will win with 5 points lol so go on and write them off because that is when they are at their best, confidence booster! Lions by 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      WP - 2012-03-22 15:53

      @firehaek07,Stop Smoking Weed bru.

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-22 16:20

      @ WP atleast I check my spelling before I comment for any mistypes, I am an Afrikaner so my grammar might not always be 100% so I wonder who is smoking weed. And @ Isak your margins is way out bru. If we lose the weekend I will congratulate your team but if we win you guys will do one of two things, have disappeared or blame the referee.

      Lion - 2012-03-23 07:39

      ISAK... PISS OFF!!!

      Sharksfever - 2012-03-23 08:08

      @Lion, makes you wish the players had this mentality. Then they'd be in for a big surprise. Unfortunatly its just a few Stormers supporters getting carried away probably cause they excited.

      Lion - 2012-03-23 16:08

      @Sharksfever... Every rugby supporter has every right to brag and boast about his team when they are doing good. The Stormers are riding that wave at the moment and their supporters deserve to boast about their achievements. No problem with that. It keeps rugby alive and competitive and supporters interested. Unfortunately there are idiots around that repeat themselves on every blog here day after day. The same old boring comments over and over again. It just shows me that they most probably know nothing and that Google and News24 is the main source of rugby their knowledge, hence the repetitive comments. I know what you are saying. I hang my head in shame as well sometimes when some of our Lions supporters goes on the rant like some of these clowns on here. I love rugby and if another team does well I am the first to congratulate them. Some of these guys are looking for attention here because they definitely don't get it at home I think.

  • Corrie - 2012-03-22 15:54

    Stormers soos julle praat sou mens sweer hierdie Leeus het julle nie verlede jaar uit die Currie Beker geboender met bol en all!! Maar nou ja ons ken die Stormers:- hulle praat en speel ewe goed voor die uitspeel wedstryde. Dit is maar n klein probleempieom die grotes te wen en julle werk darem nou al jare daaraan.

      Lionel - 2012-03-22 16:01

      Te minste was ons daar in die semis, waar was die Bulle,ooh ja hulle was kla op vakansie!!!

      WP - 2012-03-22 16:02

      Corrie, That was one game.

      Johan - 2012-03-22 16:49

      @ WP, it was two, two weeks apart 8 Oct - Lions 42-25WP 22 Oct - Lions 29-20WP

  • Nico - 2012-03-22 15:54

    GO LIONS!! You've beaten this side last year in the CC semi's, you can win them saturday :)

      WP - 2012-03-22 15:59

      @Nico,In your dreams! ! ! !

      Lionel - 2012-03-22 16:02

      Nico,I must admit I am a bit nervous for this game,this side has massive injuries but that counts for nothing,Sterkte Saterdag!!!!

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-22 16:26

      @Lionel as daar maar net meer Stormers supporters soos jy was om 'n gevaarlike span te kan raak sien!

      WP - 2012-03-22 16:35

      @Firehawk07 ,Die enigste gevaar is die Lions se "Jerry Springer" tipe toeskouers

      Nico - 2012-03-22 16:35

      thx Lionel :) good luck for you guys as well, i just hope there is no injuries for either team, and that we have a good tough game of rugby :) pity there is not more stormer supporters like you, would have been easier to support them in other games!

      Lionel - 2012-03-22 16:35

      Firehawk,om daai span te onderskat sal nie baie slim wees nie,hoewel julle baie beseerings het is dit nogsteeds n span wat baie spanne n "Go" sal gee en n paar spanne veras ook!!!Sterkte vir Saterdag!!!

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-22 16:41

      @WP I don't waste my time on Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey, Dr Phil or any of those shows because I don't sort out my problems in front of millions of people so I don't really know what you on about, @Nico I agree but I know a few good Stormer supporters, @Lionel sterkte vir julle ook gan 'n cracker van 'n game wees dink om te gaan kyk

      Lionel - 2012-03-22 16:44

      Thanks Nico,I think we all want our team to do well,in my case I want all SA teams to do well but Stormers to win:):):)

      WP - 2012-03-23 07:27

      @Firehawk07,to be honest,i didn't think that you would understand.

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-23 08:31

      @WP go drink your papsak and let the people who understand rugby comment here, you are the weakest link goodbye

      WP - 2012-03-23 11:59

      @Firehawk07, nope, the lions are the weakest link goodbye Enjoy your last season in Super Rugby.

  • Priester - 2012-03-22 17:18

    Go Lions! You have the heart and ability to smear the papsakke! Blou Bul Groete!

  • Kevin - 2012-03-22 17:52

    Sorry for you Lions.

  • Douglas - 2012-03-23 08:06

    Come on my boytjies! We have faith in you & in you Mitch! We are always counted as the underdogs, which makes us the wild card! " GO LIONS!!!! "

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2012-03-23 08:33

      @Douglas most of these stormers drama queen supporters think they have already won it by 50 points can you believe that?

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