The Stormers’ Super 14 semifinal hopes were dealt a blow when they lost 20-14 to South African rivals the Sharks on Saturday.
The Cape Town-based Stormers remained second in the standings behind the defending champion Bulls, but could still be overtaken in the last round of the regular season next weekend.
The Sharks took advantage of the Stormers’ error-filled performance with first-half tries by wing Odwa Ndungane and flyhalf Ruan Pienaar.
Flyhalf Peter Grant registered his first try of the season five minutes into the second half to give the Stormers hope, but the visitors failed to play with any of the fluency that saw them hammer seven-time champion Crusaders last week.
Pienaar added two more penalties before Francois Louw’s last-minute converted try snatched a potentially vital bonus point for the Stormers.
Tries: Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar.
Conversions: Ruan Pienaar (2).
Penalties: Pienaar (2).
Tries: Peter Grant, Francois Louw.
Conversions: Grant (2).