Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Coach bemoans Lions' second-half effort



Lions coach John Mitchell grumbled about his side's second-half performance in their 23-13 Super Rugby defeat to the Crusaders at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

It was also a rare sight to see both coaches from the winning and losing sides looking as disappointed in their troops as Mitchell and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder did after the match.

It was the Crusaders' unconvincing performance that fuelled Mitchell's torment.

"I thought they (Crusaders) deserved their win, they are an exceptional side, and they suffocated us and drilled our forward pack in the second half," Mitchell said.

The Lions had the better of their more esteemed opponents for most of the first half and enjoyed a 13-10 lead going into the halftime break.

The tourists, however, turned the tables shortly after halftime with a converted try and a penalty goal.

"I think the nine minutes after halftime was the turning point of the fixture, we didn't control the possession and they had territory and we were inaccurate again lineout wise," said Mitchell.

"It is obvious to everyone that our lineouts aren't working as well as they should at the moment."

While the Lions' second-half performance was atrocious, they have shown great potential in the first half with the hosts dominating the tight phases.

Their lineouts have been a concern for Mitchell's men all season and after a decent showing in the first stanza, they once again lost the plot in the second.

"The effort is great but we've got three or four guys that have four caps in Super Rugby in the forward pack and they need to realise they need to step up," Mitchell said.

"Not delivering a lineout is unacceptable."

An equally forlorn Joshua Strauss bemoaned the manner in which the team let the game slip out of their control.

"I think in our first half we did really well and then those 10 minutes after halftime we let them in, that was a great blow for morale and it was a big struggle from there on," said Strauss.

"It was one or two silly penalties, three points, six points, and then just playing catch-up. You never want to do that, but we have to start showing heart for 80 minutes."

Among all the doom and gloom of injury blows and lost opportunities, the Lions received a glimmer of hope with the return of Lionel Mapoe and Elton Jantjies off the bench.

"Lionel (Mapoe) is certainly short of a gallop, it is pretty obvious to everyone but he's got back to fitness and he should get sharper," Mitchell said.

"Andries (Coetzee) is showing exceptional ability, defensively he still has a lot to learn, and the experiential learning he is getting is phenomenal. It is great for him, he certainly is ambitious as a footballer, and he has a great kick on him out of hand so he is very exciting."

Blackadder was also disappointed in his team's performance.

"It is a good start in the context that we got a win but we are really disappointed in the way we started and the way we performed tonight. Really, really inaccurate," said the Crusaders' coach.

"I was a lot happier with the second-half performance and that is why I am so disappointed. We needed to start better and it just took a bit of attitude adjustment at halftime."

Shop

SA Rugby Annual 2013
SA Rugby Annual 2013: The Official Year Book of the South African Rugby Union
R175.89
SA rugby annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.89


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Wed, 16 Apr @ 05:00
Wed, 16 Apr @ 18:30

Sports Talk



Tony Johnson
Super Rugby mid-term report
We’re about halfway through the round robin, so a mid-term report might be in order.

Gavin Rich
It ain’t won in April...or May
One of Naas Botha’s famous comments from back when he was a player was that the Currie Cup wasn’t...

Brendan Venter
Where SA rugby falls short
For all intents and purposes, rugby coaching is in many ways like parenting. Finding a balance...

Brenden Nel
The importance of Matfield
Much has been debated about Victor Matfield’s comeback over the past few months, with opinions...

Super Wrap
So what's wrong with SA rugby?
If it is true that one learns more from defeat than from victory then this country’s rugby IQ must...

Duane Heath
Alvizo's reprieve
Alvizo Erasmus has never met Jannie du Plessis and probably never will, but these two men, who ply...