Coetzee: One of our best wins
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee declared that his side's match-winning effort against the animated Lions was "one of the best wins of the season" after his flu-hit squad held out bravely at Newlands on Saturday.
The Stormers won 27-17, after leading 13-3 at half-time.
Hours before kick-off, fullback Joe Pietersen, wing Bryan Habana and utility back Burton Francis were withdrawn due to illness, and then wing Danie Poolman, who originally did not feature in the match-day squad, was a first-half casualty. He was replaced by centre Marcel Brache, who was also destined to be a spectator.
Brache's entry forced the Stormers to move their captain, Jean de Villiers, out to the wing and Coetzee admitted afterwards that it was far from ideal for the skipper to be so far removed from the action.
"It might not have been a crowd-pleasing performance but this was one of the best wins of the season in the light of what happened with the squad before the match," Coetzee said.
"Last night [Friday] Bryan was still on a drip and three players were down with flu.
"It was an important win against a Lions side that a lot of people write off. But this Lions side was efficient and put us under pressure.
"This performance shows that we are improving as a team."
Coetzee said Poolman picked up a hamstring strain and was likely to be out for 10 days, but lock Andries Bekker came through his comeback match without complications.
The Stormers next clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.