Mitchell hopes to change 'player habits'

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 10:04
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REACTION: New Zealander John Mitchell would have hoped for an easier start to his tenure as the Blue Bulls' on-field coach.

However, he now realises it will 'take time' to change mindsets and bad habits.

Mitchell's Bulls walked into an ambush in Nelspruit last Friday, when they suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the Currie Cup - a season low 51-15 loss to the Pumas.

Mitchell, initially unveiled as the Executive of Rugby back in May, would have hoped for a better start when he took over from Nollis Marais as the on-field coach six days earlier.

However, the hard-nosed and well-travelled Kiwi admitted that it was not going to be a quick-fix.

"We recognise our current limitations," Mitchell told rugby365, when asked for reaction to the loss at the weekend.

"We have a vision and strategic plan in place that we are focusing on."

Mitchell, who said the union were in denial for too long when he took over from Marais last week, admitted that restructuring is never nice.

"We are also going through a change in mentality an approach in which the athletes will take time to adapt to be on the same page," Mitchell told rugby365.

"The performance [against the Pumas] was clearly not our best - conceding five tries through defending the maul and [conceding] three yellow cards.

Player habits and ownership in the franchise is still very much in an education and mentoring process."

The Bulls host Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, September 1, an Mitchell hope they can finally begin to arrest the slide.

The Bulls have slipped to sixth on the seven-team standings - ahead of the bottom-placed Golden Lions, whom they meet in Johannesburg on September 16.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 23 September 2017
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 10 9 0 1 43
Free State Cheetahs 9 6 0 3 30
Western Province 9 5 0 4 27
Golden Lions 9 4 0 5 25
Pumas 10 4 0 6 24
Blue Bulls 9 3 0 6 20
Griquas 10 2 0 8 16