Players could sink Mitchell

2012-06-21 22:20

Cape Town - Lions coach John Mitchell's job could be on the line after a group of players expressed personal grievances about the way he's been treating them.

According to Beeld, some of the players expressed their unhappiness to Golden Lions Rugby Union president Kevin de Klerk earlier this week. The players are apparently unhappy about the "unreasonable" manner in which Mitchell is treating them.

The Lions management is trying hard to restore order but the question now remains whether the disunity between Mitchell and the players can be resurrected after a lack of trust developed during a disastrous 2012 Super Rugby campaign.

Mitchell is well known as a hard, no-nonsense type of coach.

A similar scenario played itself out in 2008 when he coached the Western Force when most of the players became fed up of his strict coaching methods. He was also unpopular as All Blacks coach and was sacked after they lost the 2003 World Cup semi-final to Australia.

The Lions are currently second last on the overall Super Rugby log, with only two wins from 13 matches.

They are assured of finishing last in the South African Conference, which will in all likelihood see them be replaced by the Southern Kings for next year's event.

Their remaining Super Rugby matches are against the Stormers in Cape Town (30 June), Rebels at home (7 July) and Bulls in Pretoria (14 July).


  • Harold - 2012-06-21 22:39

    Coaches like Meyer, Ludeke and Coetzee has proven that you don't have to treat the players like children to get results.

      thomas.cannon.712 - 2012-06-21 23:25

      It didn't look like they were unhappy when he upped their earning status straight after winning the Currie Cup!!!

      blousteblou.meyer - 2012-06-22 08:42

      I've personally heard from players before that he really treats them like dirt sometimes

      TravieGrif - 2012-06-22 14:32

      @Harold. I totally agree with you. So much of getting the best out of a team is about player management, but he does have a track record of being able to get up players noses. He is a great coach, so hopefully they can work it out.

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-06-22 15:03

      he took them from nowhere to curry cup champions, i think those lads need to sit down and shut up

      mike.olwagen - 2012-06-22 16:13

      Jirre broer nou praat jy so reg in my kraal.....groete Snorre!!!

      mike.olwagen - 2012-06-22 16:16

      Frans Ludeke was incidentally useless at the Lions. He wasn't missed. So what made him great in Pretoria?

  • bloudaan.blou - 2012-06-21 22:50

    Ja, dalk kan ons nou verstaan waarom dit so gaan soos dit gaan. Ek soos harold se, kyk na Ludike, Meyer en selfs ook Coetzee. En glo my die spelers aanbid omtrent daai afrigters.

  • Emile - 2012-06-21 23:11

    Name and shame the players. Mitchell is the only person at the Lions with talent.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-22 06:16

      I know Mitchell, but who are the Lions?

      michael.f.cooper.37 - 2012-06-22 07:08

      I'm against this whole 'aussie player uprising' thing but imo Mitchell is the most overrated coach in the comp. He had the record for the most consecutive losses at the force then added that record with the lions to his cv and then broke that record again with the lions. And he did nothing with the all black and those weren't poor player by any stretch. He talks a good game tho! But so does PDiv....

      Boereroo - 2012-06-22 08:07

      Michael what the hell are you on about. What have the aussies got to do with your little hissy fit. Mitchell is a kiwi

      John - 2012-06-22 08:12

      @Michael - agree with you. He comes across as an abrasive character. The Lions defensive structures are the worst in the country (I'm pretty sure they don't have a defense coach) and they are clueless with regards playing in the right field positions. They play this helter skelter, Carlos Spencer, type game from anywhere on the park. Nice to watch but they lose 90% of the time. One win against the Sharks does not cut it for a coach. I do not believe the Lions don't have talent they are just badly coached. "Mr Mitchell you are the weakest link - Goodbye".

      michael.f.cooper.37 - 2012-06-22 09:05

      Not very clever are we boereroo... This player uprising, forcing the coach out thing in rugby originated in aus. Brumbies did it to 2 of their coaches and so too did the force. So put away ur semi for the aussies!

  • Ken - 2012-06-21 23:19

    It's the end of the world as we know it!

  • franklyn.davies.1 - 2012-06-22 01:00

    Dont know the contents of his contract,but i reckon he will jump before he is pushed if he can,probable life out of super-rugger next season with a bunch of unhappy players wont be something to look forward to....and it all looked so promising last year.

  • andrew.sutherland.520 - 2012-06-22 01:03

    Politically generated media smut; trying to dirty a successful coach's name so that the politacally k#k Southern Kings have even more chance of a berth in next years Super Rugby.

      springbokke - 2012-06-22 03:38

      @Andrew...I agree.

      bernard.mackenzie.5 - 2012-06-22 05:35

      So what was the motivation for him getting the sack from the western force and all blacks? Political as well program because of his man management problems?

      bernard.mackenzie.5 - 2012-06-22 05:38

      So what was the motivation for him getting the sack from the western force and all blacks? Political as well program because of his man management problems?

      marschoeman - 2012-06-22 05:51

      You are an idiot. This is a sport related article and you have to bring politics into it. The facts are: Lions are bottom of the SA conference. They are in all likelihood going to loose all their remaining matches. There is unhappiness in the Lions camp. Firing Mitchell is the obvious thing to do. Stop trying to make everything about politics. And for the record, I don't agree with the inclusion of the Kings next year, because they don't deserve it, but they can't end any lower than the Lions have been doing...

      lona.vezi - 2012-06-22 08:04

      U r a paranoid sob Andrew. Check at the man's coaching history. However, SARU is destroying rugby by this epk issue.

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-06-22 08:33

      successful coach? his super rugby record doesn't look too successful to me.

  • karen.nortier.1 - 2012-06-22 04:06

    From hero to zero in about 7 months. Why did players not complain when they won the CC? They raved about him and now they are bitching. Maybe the players are just plain prima donnas and the problem lies with them

      P.J. - 2012-06-22 08:11

      Spyker oppi kop!

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 09:02

      No, they won the Currie Cup in 2011, because all the other franchises had their top players playing World Cup Rugby during the CC season. Even with the play-offs the other franchises' top players were stilll recovering and not playing at full steam. In addition, Lions did not have as many injuriesthen as in 2012, which is indicitave of poor player management. No wonder the other franchises are not making offers. I'm glad for Doppies who is looking for greener pastures - the right thing to do. The very same players would behave and perform differently at other franchises. WHY? If you want to see prima donnas, then look at players leaving a franchise and speak distasteful things about their union, like Sias Ebersohn for example.

      Rugbyfan - 2012-06-22 19:49

      @Rudi Do you honestly believe that 10 first-choice Lions players have been injured the whole season? Let me spell it out: It has nothing to do with player management. The Lions are bankrupt, they can not pay their players what they (the players) demand, so most of the players refused to play Super Rugby. To save themselves the embarrassment, the Union throws around the term "injuries" as a cover-up. Really thought more people would have realised this by now. "No, they won the Currie Cup in 2011, because all the other franchises had their top players playing World Cup Rugby during the CC season. Even with the play-offs the other franchises' top players were stilll recovering and not playing at full steam." - So you're saying the Lions were not deserved winners of the CC?

  • Pat - 2012-06-22 04:20

    if i was u Mitchell, tell them to shove the job up there ass!! lions will NEVER be a competitive unit, ever!!! the only reason they won the cc was because there werent any springbuks in the other teams!! fact

      brendan.vanderpluym - 2012-06-22 06:45

      So there weren't any Springboks during the semi and finals?

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-06-22 08:35

      good luck trying to motivate the Springboks to win a Currie Cup after they lost the World Cup just a week or so ago in the manner they did.

  • bernard.mackenzie.5 - 2012-06-22 05:38

    The Lions are revolting.

  • super105 - 2012-06-22 06:00

    Lions and hard work are two enemies. That is why they will remain a disgrace to SA Rugby!

  • Burtfred - 2012-06-22 06:08

    I'm surprised he has lasted this long. Send him and his Kiwi mate Spencer packing.

  • Nico - 2012-06-22 06:35

    Hero to Zero...7 months. Lost 30% of his squad due to injury most of witch is starting players. Players not performing and being bottom of the log does not help. SA rugby not nice place to be if you lose so good luck to JM will most likely go and coach in Europe now.

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2012-06-22 06:39

    Mitchell to stay cut players money

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 08:49

      Rather determine each player's remuneration to individual performances and a bonus linked to the team's scoreboard.

  • brendan.vanderpluym - 2012-06-22 06:48

    So this is the THIRD time something like this happens to Mitchell, once with a kiwi group, then an aussie group, now a south african one....... And it's the players who are wrong!?!?!?

  • thethird.wors - 2012-06-22 07:12

    Players are there to be coached. He's not your pal. Get the results and you will get more sympathy.

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 09:07

      Agree, athough your word "sympathy" should be replaced by "respect". When you love something, you have a desire for it. When you feel sorry for something, you sympathise with it. When you value something you respect it. What you don't value will move away from you. Mitchell didn't value the players and consequently didn't earn their respect.

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2012-06-22 07:15

    Mammas \boys\ to stay home

  • Jacques - 2012-06-22 07:18

    Last year all the Lions players said the fact that he is strict is their claim to fame.....As the saying goes when the going gets tough the tough gets going.

  • jan.potgieter - 2012-06-22 07:20

    Cry me a river. Start with Mitchell and Carter, then get rid of Plumtree as well. These guys may have been of more value to the NZ federation than too us. It would be good riddance

      Neutedop - 2012-06-22 08:01

      Jan, Rig Dan Carter dan die Lions af? Dog hy speel nog by Crusaders? Jy kan nie groot statements maak met sulke belaglike foute in nie.....

      Gordo Sparks - 2012-06-22 08:16

      Are you serious!? Make me laugh out loud! first of all it's Carlos Spencer, not Carter. Secondly, they have helped South African teams win the Currie Cup how many times in the last 5years?? Lions players must harden the f*@# up.

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 09:09

      Jy bedoel seker Carlos Spencer i.p.v. Dan Carter?

      terry.burne - 2012-06-22 14:15

      Just what exactly does Plumtree have to do with the problems in the Lions' den! If you don't know what you are talking about, best keep your trap shut!

      henri.duvenage - 2012-06-23 03:34

      It;s obvious the name should have been "Spencer". The reference to Plumtree is also in context but it seems some of the "critics" are a bit uptight.

      jan.potgieter - 2012-06-23 04:52

      Haha, sorry guys, I meant Carlos Spencer. @terry, well done for noticing the error. Pity you're too stupid too understand the rest of the post.

  • lourens.jordaan - 2012-06-22 07:58

    Gee vir Jimmy Stonehouse van die Pumas n kans om die Lions af te rug.

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-06-22 08:39

      sorry, maar volgens my het Jimmy Stone se integriteit n nose dive gevat toe hy sy stief seun Gert (die wat nie weet nie - Waterkloof4 se spoilt brat Gert), ingedruk het by die Pumas...

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 08:40

      Ek stem saam. Net soos Heyneke Meyer het Jimmy Stonehouse eers skole afgerig ; toe Currie Cup B afdeling ; en sy volgende logiese stap is SuperRugby. As Dawie Theron se job oopgaan, kan Jimmy Stonehouse baie maklik saam met Brendan Venter werk.

  • P.J. - 2012-06-22 08:09

    Daai ouens moet ophou moan, anders koop die Kings hulle nie vir volgende jaar nie!

      Rudi - 2012-06-22 08:46

      Die Kings het al klaar gesê dat hulle nie die Lions wil vervang nie. Die Lions spelers kan eerder die spanne versterk van die BULLS, SHARKS en die CHEETAHS ; maar EINTLIK moet die bestuur van die Lions ALLES in hulle vermoëns werp om die Franchise te behou vir 2015 se S16 planne.

  • andre.vos.7 - 2012-06-22 08:42

    Sies... as 'n leeus ondersteuner kan ekke nie nou glo at ekke hier lees nie... gaan agter iemand wat hulle gelui het en goed gelui het en gaan huil soos klein seuntjies by die baas... SIES SIES SIES!!!! Dit is hoekom hulle nie wen nie want as jy nie balas het om iemand te konfronteer van die veld af nie hoegaan jy dit doen op die veld.... Baie teleurgesteld in die spelers... SIES MAN!!!!

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-06-22 08:46

      Gelui? Skuus, dog ek het n missed call

      Deon - 2012-06-22 09:32

      @Matt - hel no het ek lekker gelag vir jou - flippen skerp!

  • Rudi - 2012-06-22 08:52

    Mitchell is a DRIVER ; not a LEADER. He coaches by FEAR instead of RESPECT. A leader has to EARN respect from the players - he cannot force it down upon them. BTW, FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.

      Troy Van Der Westhuyzen - 2012-06-22 09:29

      Really rudi? Has he coached u b4?

      matt.prinsloo.1 - 2012-06-22 10:16

      hier is baie mense wat comment oor Mitchell, en ek glo nie een van hulle is ooit afgerig deur hom nie Rudi is net so geregtig op sy opinie as enige ander. ek voel as jy n "no-nonsense" tipe coach wil wees, moet jy seker maak jy kry resultate op die veld anders gaan dit net back fire...

  • Clinton - 2012-06-22 10:50

    Time for the Lions players to man the f**k up and grow a set!!

  • Jody - 2012-06-22 11:00

    Can tell you who "moangatte" are and this will not suprise anyone.

  • mike.olwagen - 2012-06-22 16:15

    All successful super rugby franchises have at least 8 national players in their squad +- 1/3 at least. Check the history books.Lions don't have that. In Curry Cup where playing field was more even I think he did well. He lost NZ job because someone had to carry the can after the defeat to Oz. Henry was only not fired after 2007 because NZ realized by then, hiring and firing coaches weren't the answer. My opinion, you cannot run a "World Class" rugby franchise from a somalian and nigerian slum in the east of the city. Firing the coach ain't gonna make a dime difference!

  • pompstaroonio - 2012-06-22 16:50

    Hahaha...where are all the Lions supporters who were predicting that the Lions would finish in the top six of the Super15 log and that Strauss has "Springbok Captain Potential"...?

  • karin.spilhaus - 2012-06-22 20:55

    Is that the same coach that led the Lions to Currie Cup victory last year and was regarded as the best thing to ever happen to the Lions? Maybe the players should take responsibility??/?

  • Adele Geldenhuys Koolen - 2012-06-22 21:16

    U have to understand mitchell's frustration, its not like the players have been performing that well! No wonder hes turned into monster coach

  • tim.attwell.77 - 2012-06-23 09:10

    We have to wait for the players' grievances to be made public before we can make a proper judgment. Meanwhile, on the face of it, it looks like John Mitchell has that common misconception: "When you are good with a hammer, everything is a nail."

  • Scott Gilbert - 2012-06-24 15:17

    Keep Mitchell or the lions will slip even further which is hard to imagine. I can't believe he would give a toss about losing this job anyway. No super rugby! As Lions supporter I'm afraid to say this could be the final nail in the coffin for the lions. Time for the players to take responsibility.

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