Mitchell positive he can bring success to Bulls

Cape Town - Bulls coach John Mitchell remains positive that he has a long-term plan to bring success back to the franchise.

The Bulls go into their final match of the 2018 Super Rugby season against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday without any chance of making the tournament playoffs, but after his first full year in charge of the side, Mitchell remains optimistic. 

"I think it's pretty clear to everyone that our style of football and our approach is quite different," he said on Thursday, reflecting on the season.

" There are two things that have changed over the last year: a new process and new systems, and a new style which comes with mindset and approach.

"One thing I have done is given all of the talent in Super Rugby and Currie Cup a chance, so I'm better off after a year to understand where we've got to commit to next.

"That's between myself and the board now. I have a particular strategy that I'm after that I think is going to be the blueprint of success and we need to be committed.

"If we commit to it then we give ourselves every opportunity.

"You just have to look to the fact that we've lost six close games. Ultimately you cannot sustain performance in this competition unless your depth is spot-on and you cannot ignore injuries."

Mitchell has said for a couple of weeks now that there is not enough depth in key positions at the Bulls, and that is something he will be looking to remedy in the off-season.

The immediate challenge, however, is the Lions this weekend.

"It's important that we go with an extremely positive mindset. We're well aware of their strengths and how important the game is for them," Mitchell said.

"What is important to us is that we finish off with a performance that we're pleased with.

"The team is going to have to deliver an extraordinary performance on Saturday."

Kick-off is at 15:05.

Teams:

Lions

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen    

 Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Johannes Jonker, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman/Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 22 Howard Mnisi/Shaun Reynolds

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman (captain), 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Mornay Smit, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Nick de Jager, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Boeta Hamman, 23 Divan Rossouw