The Capetonians, South African Conference winners for the third time in five years, were beaten 39-19 by the Brumbies, which saw the two-time champions from Canberra advance to the semi-finals.
It wasn’t a great ending to the season for the Stormers, but ultimately they were beaten by a team that outscored them by six tries to one, with Brumbies winger Joe Tomane collecting a hat-trick of tries.
The Brumbies will now travel to Wellington to face the Hurricanes and the Waratahs will host the Highlanders in the other semi-final after the team from Dunedin edged the Chiefs by 24-14 in the first qualifier.
A hat-trick of tries for Brumbies winger Joe Tomane in the first half-hour of the clash against the DHL Stormers at Newlands in Cape Town set the tone for the visitors to advance to their third consecutive semi-final.
It was also the second time in three years that the Brumbies travelled to South Africa for a play-off match and returned to Australia with a famous win after they eliminated the Bulls in the semi-finals in 2013.
Tomane opened the scoring in the fourth minute and added two more tries in the 15th and 25th minutes as the Brumbies raced to commanding lead.
The Stormers though started finding their feet, but they conceded too many turn-overs on the ground and lost too many line-outs to make it count.
With the home team hot on the attack late in the first half, they lost possession of the ball in the Brumbies’ half. The visitors kicked out and from the resulting line-out, which the Stormers failed to control, the team from ACT scored their fourth try, courtesy of burly No 8 Ita Vaea, to go into the break leading by 24-6.
The Capetonians started the second half in much better form as they managed to hold on to possession better. When Cheslin Kolbe intercepted and scored after a 60m run, and Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion and his third penalty goal, the deficit was reduced to 24-16 with 30 minutes left on the clock.
Despite a commanding scrum, the Stormers could not build on this momentum though and when Vaea crossed for this second try in the 63rd minute, the mountain the home team had to scale simply became too steep.
Jesse Mogg rubbed salt into the Stormers’ wounds with his team’s sixth try at the death as the home team lost and conceded more than three tries at home for the first time since 2009.
Stormers – Try: Cheslin Kolbe. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalty goals: Catrakilis (4).
Brumbies – Tries: Joe Tomane (3), Ita Vaea (2), Jesse Mogg. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (3). Penalty goal: Lealiifano.
Other result – qualifiers:
Highlanders 24 Chiefs 14 (Dunedin)
Highlanders – Tries: Waisake Naholo (2). Conversion: Lima Sopoaga. Penalty goals: Sopoaga (4).
Chiefs – Try: Brodie Retallick. Penalty goals: Andrew Horrell (2).
Original source: Disappointing end for Stormers