The Stormers closed the gap on the sixth-placed Cheetahs to four points after overcoming their Bloemfontein visitors 28-3 at Newlands on Saturday.
It was a must-win Super Rugby fixture for the Cape Town franchise and while they claimed the victory, questions will be asked of why they didn't push for the try bonus-point earlier than they did.
As it was their late surge saw them score tries in the 65th and 70th minute - via Siya Kolisi and Bryan Habana respectively - following Deon Fourie's first-half five-pointer off a driving maul.
The Stormers' remaining fixtures are against the Kings (away) and finally the Bulls at this venue as their season continues to hang by a thread.
For Naka Drotske's charges however, they know that victory over the Blues next weekend would guarantee them a spot in the play-offs as they have a bye week in Super Rugby's final round.
It was a dismal first-half as a spectacle as both sides rarely threatened the try-line, with Riaan Smit and Joe Pietersen trading a shot apiece at goal in the opening half-hour at Newlands.
The Stormers would strike soon after however as the driving maul trend in South Africa on Saturday transferred to Cape Town, with Fourie crossing for a converted to make it 10-3.
The visitors were struggling for any momentum to build their attacking flair that has seen them thrill the masses this season, as Willie le Roux and Robert Ebersohn were silenced.
Subsequently the Stormers' strong defence continued to eke out points for full-back Pietersen, who made it 16-3 with two more penalties by the 54th minute of matters.
Man-of-the-match Kolisi would then strike for a score that put the game to bed as he broke through for an impressive individual try before Habana made it 28-3 with ten minutes to play.
But the Stormers could not manage to cross for that all-important fourth score as they had ultimately left the charge too late at Newlands, with big efforts needed in the coming weeks.
Tries: Fourie, Kolisi, Habana
Con: Pietersen 2
Pen: Pietersen 3
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Deon Fourie (captain), 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Rynhardt Landman, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Walti Evermeulen, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Elgar Watts, 22 Howard Mnisi.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)