Lions coach Swys de Bruin says he still believes the Stormers are a good side, despite their last-gasp 26-23 loss to the Johannesburg side at Newlands on Saturday.
Despite losing Raymond Rhule to a red card, and then going down to 13 men after reserve flanker Jaco Coetzee was sent to the sin bin, the Stormers still held a slim 23-19 lead heading into the final stages of the match. However, the visitors set up a 5m maul and then shifted the ball to the blindside with wing Madosh Tambwe going over for the winning try.
De Bruin, who spoke highly of his opponents before the match, insisted that the Stormers were unfortunate to lose the game.
‘It is a very good team this,’ De Bruin said. ‘You look at that Sunwolves game [which the Stormers lost], we could have lost against the Sunwolves so easily in Johannesburg. The Stormers were right up there and it got away from them. It is small margins, honestly, small margins.’
Speaking on his own team’s performance, De Bruin said he was impressed with how they kept their discipline in the match.
‘The best thing for me was their discipline. Coming in at half-time, everyone wanted to say something and the big thing was to calm the guys down and focus on the job at hand. I said to them if we can win the discipline battle in the second half, we may just win the game.’
De Bruin did, however, bemoan the way his side started the game, going behind until Rhule was red carded in the second half.
‘It happens in so many games. It is a massive work on,’ De Bruin added.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images