The DHL Stormers suffered their second defeat of the season as they went down 57-24 against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.
The DHL Stormers made a determined start as they took the game to the home side and they were rewarded with an early penalty which flyhalf Rob du Preez kicked over to give them a 3-0 lead.
However, the Crusaders responded quickly with the opening try from left wing George Bridge to give them a 7-3 advantage.
Bridge managed to get over for two further tries to secure a quickfire hat-trick which put the Crusaders firmly in control.
They were not done there though as they followed that up with two tries from No.8 Kieran Read just before half-time which gave them a commanding 36-3 advantage at the break.
The DHL Stormers were first to strike in the second half as Cheslin Kolbe grabbed an intercept and raced away to score under the poles.
The visitors kept the pressure on and it was not long before they were over for their second try, with the ball worked wide to Bjorn Basson who glided over for the five-pointer.
The conversion from Du Preez reduced the deficit to 36-17, but the Crusaders hit back with two tries of their own as first Michael Alaalatoa forced his way over before Pete Samu intercepted and ran the length of the field to score.
The DHL Stormers never stopped fighting and they were rewarded with a third try as Frans Malherbe powered his way over following a great break from Kolbe.
The Crusaders had the final say as an intercept try from Manasa Mataele sealed a comfortable victory in the end.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Kolbe, Basson, Malherbe
Cons: Du Preez 3
Pen: Du Preez
Tries: Bridge 3, Read 2, Alaalatoa, Samu, Mataele
Cons: Mo’unga 7
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.