The DHL Stormers went down 42-17 against Exeter Chiefs in their Heineken Champions Cup quarterfinal at Sandy Park on Saturday.
It was a frustrating outing for the visitors on a day when everything went right for the hosts.
Despite being 21 points down at half-time, the DHL Stormers rallied to score three tries in the second half, but it was not enough as Exeter secured their passage to the semifinals.
The home side made all of the running in the first half, with tries from fullback Tom Wyatt and wings Jack Nowell and Olly Woodburn.
They took a 21-0 lead into the half-time break and added to that early in the second half, with No.8 Sam Simmonds going through to score.
The DHL Stormers eventually managed to turn some pressure into points as the forwards got them in position before the backs finished the job, with Damian Willemse eventually dotting down for their first points.
Ruhan Nel looked to have scored in his 50th match, but the try was disallowed by the TMO for obstruction off the ball.
The comeback continued however when Suleiman Hartzenberg scored in the corner shortly afterwards to make it 28-10.
The DHL Stormers refued to give in and Marvin Orie came up with a late try from a charge-down, but Exeter scored twice more themselves to secure their semifinal spot.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Willemse, Hartzenberg, Orie
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Wyatt, Nowell, Woodburn, Simmonds, Yeandle, Cairns
Cons: Simmonds 6
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Seabelo, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.