Having lost all of their 13 games last season, the Lions have now won only one game in their last 24 Super Rugby appearances.
After getting just one win in the first 10 weeks of the competition – which had them hovering in 14th position on the 15-team table – the Cheetahs from Bloemfontein have raced into ninth place on the global standings with the wins over the Brumbies (47-36) and Lions in the last six days.
There are times when your heart has bled for the Lions – when they have been adventurous and lively and skilled, but not this time. They may have ended well but all is not well with Doppies la Grange’s rag-tag lot – pretty mangy Lions for all but the last 15 minutes when the game as a contest was long over.
Mitchell was speaking after his team’s 30-34 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday and made it painstakingly clear that he was not going to put up with the mediocrity of some of his players.
“I’m sick of making excuses,” he said.
“It is the same old errors turning up and some individuals are leaving me no choice looking forward to the future.”
The quick fix to the former All Black coach’s headaches would be for the team’s money-men to go out and sign a few big-name players.
“It [losing] is a cultural issue here, it has been here for some time and clearly we are going to have to invest in the future of this organisation,” said Mitchell.
Vodacom Stormers 42 Crusaders 14
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Jaque Fourie (2), Sireli Naqelevuki; Conversions: Peter Grant (3); Penalties: Grant (7).
Crusaders – Tries: Daniel Carter, Colin Slade; Conversions: Carter (2).
Vodacom Bulls 27 The Sharks 19
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Gerhard van den Heever; Conversion: Morne Steyn; Penalties: Steyn (5).
The Sharks – Try: Rory Kockott; Conversion: Kockott; Penalties: Andy Goode (4).
Vodacom Cheetahs 36 Blues 32
Vodacom Cheetahs – Tries: Juan Smith, Jongi Nokwe, Bjorn Basson, Phillip van der Merwe, Waltie Vermeulen; Conversions: Naas Olivier (2), Meyer Bosman (2); Penalty: Olivier.
Blues – Tries: Isaia Toeava, Rene Ranger, Alby Mathewson, Anthony Tuitavake; Conversions: Stephen Brett (3); Penalties: Brett (2).
Chiefs 25 Vodacom Cheetahs 25
Chiefs – Tries: Colin Bourke, Hika Elliot, Toby Smith, Dwayne Sweeney, Liam Messam.
Vodacom Cheetahs – Tries: Devon Raubenheimer, WP Nel, Meyer Bosman; Conversions: Naas Olivier (2); Penalties: Olivier (2).
Vodacom Bulls 51 Auto & General Lions 11
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Gerhard van den Heever (2), Derick Kuün, Morné Steyn, Wynand Olivier, John Mametsa; Conversions: Morné Steyn (3); Penalties: Steyn (5).
Auto & General Lions – Try: Wandile Mjekevu; Penalties: Herkie Kruger (2).
Chiefs 15 Vodacom Stormers 49
Chiefs – Tries: Tamerau Latimer, Tim Nanai-Williams; Conversion: Stephen Donald; Penalty: Donald.
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen, Tiaan Liebenberg, Sireli Naqelevuki, Andries Bekker, Deon Fourie; Conversions: Peter Grant (4), Willem de Waal; Penalties: Grant (3).
Crusaders 45 Vodacom Cheetahs 6
Crusaders – Tries: Thomas Waldrom (2), Kahn Fotuali`i, Ryan Crotty, Sean Maitland, Ben Franks, Zac Guildford; Conversions: Colin Slade (5).
Vodacom Cheetahs – Penalties: Riaan Viljoen, Meyer Bosman.
Auto & General Lions 28 The Sharks 32
Auto & General Lions – Tries: Michael Killian, Franco van der Merwe, Derick Minnie; Conversions: Herkie Kruger (2); Penalties: Kruger (3).
The Sharks – Tries: Patrick Lambie, Odwa Ndungane, Bismarck du Plessis, Jacques Botes; Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (3); Penalties: Pienaar (2).
Chiefs – Try: Brendon Leonard; Conversion: Stephen Donald; Penalties: Donald (4).
Vodacom Bulls – Tries: Gerhard van den Heever, Pierre Spies, Gary Botha, Dewald Potgieter; Conversions: Morne Steyn (2); Penalties: Steyn (3).
Blues – Tries: Serge Lilo, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko; Conversions: Stephen Brett (3).
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Jaque Fourie, Dewaldt Duvenhage, Anton van Zyl; Conversions: Peter Grant (3); Penalties: Grant (4).
Brumbies – Tries: Ben Alexander (2), Stephen Hoiles, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Rocky Elsom, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Alfi Mafi; Conversions: Matt Giteau (6), Julian Huxley (2).
Vodacom Cheetahs – Tries: Sarel Pretorius, Adriaan Strauss; Conversion: Riaan Viljoen; Penalty: Naas Olivier. Auto & General Lions 26 Reds 41
This weekend’s Super 14 was as always filled with excitement, injuries, last-minute drop goals, the whole works. Here are the results:
Scorers: Western Force – Try: David Pocock; Conversion: James O’Connor; Penalties: O’Connor (2); Drop goal: David Hill.
Vodacom Stormers – Penalties: Peter Grant (5).
Scorers: Blues – Tries: Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko; Conversions: Stephen Brett: (2); Penalties: Brett (5).
Vodacom Bulls – Try: Pierre Spies; Penalties: Morne Steyn (3); Drop goal: Steyn (1).
Scorers: Waratahs – Tries: Rob Horne, Benn Robinson, Al Baxter, Kurtley Beale, Josh Holmes; Conversions: Daniel Halangahu (2), Berrick Barnes; Penalties: Halangahu (3).
Vodacom Cheetahs – Tries: WP Nel, Corne Uys; Conversions: Meyer Bosman (2); Penalty: Naas Olivier.