Stormers coach Allister Coetzee lamented his side's kicking display during the second half of their defeat to the Chiefs.
The Stormers surrendered a three-point half-time lead and their unbeaten start to the season in sweltering conditions at Newlands. After edging a tight contest in the first 40 minutes, the Cape side fell away badly in the second half and failed to even gain a single log point, despite contributing to what was an enthralling affair.
They were handed the opportunity to salvage something from the defeat in the dying minutes, but captain Duane Vermeulen rather bemusingly turned down a kickable penalty, instead opting to kick for the corner. His decision summed up an afternoon where his side were out-thought and outplayed, especially during the second half.
'Let us be honest, we were beaten by the better side in the second half,' admitted Coetzee after the match. 'This is a quality Chiefs side. A few things let us down today. Obviously our kicking execution was not good. If you give them free possession like that, they'll punish you, and they did that today.'
Kurt Coleman, drafted in to add some impetus on attack, showed he remains limited when it comes to executing a tactical kicking game, and despite enjoying complete dominance in the scrums, the Stormers spent much of the second stanza pinned in their half.
'The Chiefs choked us territorially in the second half. We were forced to relieve pressure with kicks, but we kicked badly and it just escalated the situation,' said Coetzee. 'Our plan was to keep it structured and we actually made it unstructured by not kicking out. That's the crux of the matter.'
'We did not execute well enough to deserve to win this game.'
The Stormers will enjoy a bye this weekend, before embarking on a four-week tour of Australasia, starting with a tough outing against the Highlanders in Dunedin. The regular halfback pairing of Demetri Catrakilis and Nic Groom will likely be reinstated for that match.
However, the Stormers will rue what was a great opportunity to make a massive statement about their title credentials after trying to fix something that wasn't broken.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images