After a disappointing 17-11 loss to the Chiefs at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, the Stormers felt the effects of being unable to redeem their 2016 defeat to the same team, at the same venue and the same stage of the competition.
Although there was a far bigger gap in last year’s 60-21 defeat, coach Robbie Fleck said: "Last year's loss was pretty humiliating and was a different sort of feeling, but this year is a lot tougher to swallow, especially given how far we've come in the last 12 months."
It seems that when the Stormers’ victory against the Chiefs in April gave them more of an edge while Fleck also worked tirelessly to ensure that the Stormers perform at their optimum, says sport24. However, it was not enough to defeat the physical Chiefs. Even the praise that the Chiefs coach Dave Rennie addressed his opposition with was insufficient consolation to a disappointed Fleck. Rennie said: "They’re a lot closer [than they were last year] because they’ve beaten us once and went close again tonight.
"They’re a lot fitter this year, I reckon. They’ve got a far better understanding of the game they’re trying to play and how to defend against Kiwi sides.
"Even on their tour to New Zealand they really pushed sides. They’re a good side and have a lot of good young kids coming through."
Stormers captain, Siya Kolisi verbalised his disappointment as he addressed the fans. He said: "It's tough. We know that there are a lot of people whose happiness relies on whether we win or lose."
"But they must just know ... imagine how we feel. It's tough for us as well. We have to play out there every single week. It's tough to walk of losing ... we want to win every single game.
"We appreciate their support, they must know that. We give our best every single season."
According to sport24, Fleck tried to retain positivity when he said: “I don't know if the best team won, but we're certainly a better outfit than we were 12 months ago. It's a tough loss for us."
"I'm just happy with where we are in our game at the moment," he continued.
"We've shown massive improvement and there are lots of good signs. This team can only get better and grow from here."