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

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Mitchell envious of White's success



The irony that former Springbok coach Jake White has already achieved more success with the Brumbies than he had with the Lions, has not been lost on current coach John Mitchell -- even more so now that the two sides meet this Friday in their Vodacom Super Rugby outing at Coca-Cola Park.

The Brumbies top the Australian conference at the moment while Mitchell struggles in a job where White failed, and let go because there wasn’t an appetite for doing things the right way.

Still, Mitchell can counter with the fact he won a Currie Cup where White’s Winning Ways didn’t, but it all comes down to success in Super Rugby when these two sides will meet.

The New Zealand coach, however, didn’t hide his admiration for White’s team and the way they play -- simply as they are in a similar situation as a side bereft of big name stars who have gotten down to work for each other and have found the fruits of their success because of it.

With the Lions still struggling to put together two good performances after another, Mitchell is still struggling to get the same sort of camaraderie out of the team that was such a tight unit last year in the domestic competition although, to be fair, injuries have placed an undue burden on a team whose depth isn’t close to any one of its South African rivals at the moment.

“They’ve got a lot of energy, and they play with a lot of heart,” Mitchell said of the Brumbies, “Clearly they have got very few reputations and that impresses me. They are a bunch of guys who play for each other. That’s something we haven’t achieved this year yet, and that’s up to us to try and achieve over what’s left of the competition, starting this week.”

Other than injuries, Mitchell has once again repeated his mantra of patience with the current group, something he hopes will pay off in the long run.

“We’re suffering because we have a few players playing Super Rugby who shouldn’t be playing Super Rugby. Unfortunately it’s all about winning and the Lions hasn’t been a place of patience in recent times and now there is no other option but to be patient,” Mitchell said.

One area where a lot of work has been going on in the past few weeks is the continuing problems in the setpiece, with the Lions lineout a constant source of woe for the team.

“The core issue in the whole competition has been the non-delivery of a lineout, and the throwers have to take a lot of responsibility for that," Mitchell said. "That's their job, and it's had a knock-on effect on the rest of the team.

"Clearly we like attacking, we just had the inability to get through a lot of attack as a result of a poor lineout. We've had to come from a lot more chaos than normal."

Lionel Mapoe replaces James Kamana on left wing, while Hendrik Roodt comes in for the injured Stephan Greeff.

"Clearly James Kamana has suffered because of his last performance," Mitchell added. "Michael Killian comes in after becoming fit again and we've put Jacobie (Adriaanse) back because he got back after he became match fit after the Vodacom Cup and we've got a new lock-loose forward Grant Hattingh, who we got from the Western Cape.

"The timing for Lionel is right. He wasn't that sharp in his first two performances but bear in mind he didn't have a full 80 minutes and he's looking a lot sharper."



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

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Fri, 22 May
Fri, 22 May
Fri, 22 May
Thu, 21 May

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Bloodied but unbowed
It will take a bit of time for the pain to settle and for us to realise that the sun will rise...

Tony Johnson
Some accountability at last
The fact that Sanzar has responded to some shoddy refereeing over the weekend is good. We have some...

Brendan Venter
Success determined by injury list
As we approach the business end of the Super Rugby season, I believe that the team which has their...

Brenden Nel
Where is the Blitz in these Boks?
The spectacular implosion by the Blitzboks to hand their World Series lead – and then the title –...

Gavin Rich
Relax, the World Cup isn't won in May
It’s been a long time since a Super Rugby weekend has been so abjectly poor for South Africans, and...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 14, 2015
An optimist will look at a glass of water and call it half-full. A pessimist will look at that same...