Stormers coach Allister Coetzee highlighted his team's poor kicking as a major factor in their home loss to the Chiefs on Saturday.
The Stormers produced a scintillating first half-hour to lead 13-3 but couldn't maintain that momentum as the Chiefs came roaring back to win 28-19.
"Let's be honest, we were beaten by the better side in the second half. This is a quality Chiefs side," said Coetzee.
"A few things let us down today. Obviously our kicking execution wasn't good.
"If you give them free possession like that, they'll punish you, and they did that today."
The Stormers coach agreed that his side struggled to get out of their half in the second period as a result of their poor kicking, which had an affect on his team's performance on a hot afternoon.
"It was a massive physical battle. A team with territorial advantage plays with their tails up and we didn't get any energy from our kicking game. That's what made us look so tired and lethargic in terms of our kick chase.
"One or two kicks before half time let them back into the game and we missed a helluva lot of tackles in that period.
"We're a side that should play with ball in hand and if there's one lesson that we learned today, it's that against a quality side like the Chiefs you need to keep playing with ball in hand.
"They choked us territorially in the second half. We were forced to relieve pressure with kicks, but we kicked badly and it just escalated the situation.
"Our plan was to keep it structured and we actually made it unstructured by not kicking out. That's the crux of the matter.
"We did not execute well enough to deserve to win that game."
Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen admitted that his side had been given a "lesson in playing for a full 80 minutes."
The Stormers conceded more than one try for the first time this season, but Vermeulen felt that was to the Chiefs' credit rather than a failure of the home side's defensive systems.
"There were a few individual errors but that will happen when a team gets quick ball against you and you're on the back foot," he explained.
"They executed well and they finished [their chances]."
The Stormers dominated the scrum in the first half but two scrum penalties against them in the final quarter ended hopes of a comeback. However, Coetzee refused to blame the set piece turn around on the Stormers substitute front rowers.
"Last week the same substitutes were able to build on the foundation," he insisted.
"I don't think that was the issue.
"Looking at some of those tries, sometimes you need to just stand back and applaud the Chiefs' brilliance. You can't make a plan against that."