Cipriani: Mitchell has 'no regrets'

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 14:15
Large john mitchell sale sharks2 Large danny cipriani h s 630 Large john mitchell   steve diam2 Large john mitchell   steve diamo

Sale Sharks' controversial new mentor John Mitchell has defended his decision to axe England flyhalf Danny Cipriani last week.

Sale Sharks' controversial new mentor, former All Black coach John Mitchell, has defended his decision to axe England flyhalf last week.

Just months after his prolonged disciplinary hearing at the Golden Lions in Johannesburg, in which he was told to clean up his man-management act, Mitchell has again publicly blasted players.

Mitchell singled out Sharks poster boy Danny Cipriani, whom he dropped from the match-day squad for bottom-of-the-table Sale's Premiership match at Wasps at the weekend - a game Sale lost 18-25.

The Sharks grabbed a losing bonus point at the death, with a Jonny Leota try and Rob Miller conversion, but Mitchell felt they may well have won the game if the Sharks' kicks at goal had been successful.

While the Sharks were not without character, mistakes at crucial times and some poor kicking cost them dear.

At 11-22 down, they laid siege to the Wasps line, but could not find a way through and then when the impressive Vernon broke, Mark Jennings fumbled his inside ball.

Miller, on kicking duties with Cipriani dropped, also missed a simple kick with a few minutes to go, but he showed his character to convert Leota's try and take the Sharks to within striking distance of London Irish, five points adrift.

Mitchell was adamant he had no regrets about leaving Cipriani out.

"Not at all, Danny knows the situation and what's going on and he knows that there needs to be an improvement in performance," said Mitchell.

"He was not the only player to receive bad news, so if he improves his defence he will come back into contention.

"Nick Macleod came in and performed well. He's had a bit of a back injury recently which we've had to manage but his performance was pleasing.

"We certainly presented ourselves without opportunities to win the game, but the kicking at crucial times wasn't executed as well as it could have been."

Mitchell took some positives from the game, despite seeing his side suffer a 10th defeat in 11 Premiership matches this season.

"We showed good character to get the bonus point at the end though - which could be very important and it means that we're getting closer to London Irish," he said.

"They are just in front of us and not a long way off so we have our destiny and we have to deal with what's in front of us." the controversial coach added.

However, Mitchell was not totally happy with aspects of Sale's performance.

"We left nine points out there with missed kicks, there was a soft breach in our defence for their try and their kicking game was better than ours with our 9-10 and 15 letting us down there as their execution wasn't good enough," said Mitchell.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 4 4 0 0 18
Saracens 4 3 0 1 15
Bath 4 3 0 1 14
Leicester Tigers 4 3 0 1 13
Exeter Chiefs 4 2 0 2 10
Newcastle Falcons 4 2 0 2 9
Gloucester 4 1 1 2 9
Harlequins 4 2 0 2 8
Sale Sharks 4 1 1 2 8
Northampton Saints 4 1 0 3 7
Worcester Warriors 4 0 2 2 5
Bristol 4 0 0 4 1