The DHL Stormers showed plenty of heart but suffered a 41-22 Vodacom Super Rugby defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.
Having fought hard to be level with the defending champions heading into the final stages of the match, the DHL Stormers were not able to avoid going down in a hard-fought encounter.
The DHL Stormers applied early territorial perssure and were rewarded with the first points of the game as flyhalf Rob du Preez slotted a penalty, but the home side would score the first try as a cross-kick from Beauden Barrett found Cory Jane to put them 7-3 up.
The next try came from a decision overturned by the TMO as Jordie Barret came through and grounded the ball just short of the dead ball line after Nizaam Carr had control of the ball in the in-goal area.
The DHL Stormers were struck a further blow when hooker Bongi Mbonambi was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement at a maul and the Hurricanes took advantage as Julian Savea scored in the corner to make it 17-3 after 25 minutes.
Despite being down to 14 men the DHL Stormers hit back as replacement hooker Ramone Samuels went over for a try from a powerful line-out drive to reduce the deficit to 17-10 just short of the half-hour mark.
The Barrett brothers combined for the next try as Beauden provided a cross-kick for Jordie to score his second, but the DHL Stormers refused to give in and two penalties from the boot of fullback SP Marais saw them cut the Hurricanes lead to 22-16 at half-time.
The visitors made a determined start to the second half and were rewarded with another two Marais penalties which levelled matters at 22-22 with 30 minutes left to play.
The Hurricanes searched seperately for another try and despite some stout defence from the DHL Stormers they eventually broke through with inside centre Ngani Laumape dotting down out wide.
The DHL Stormers would not lie down and marched deep into Hurricanes territory where the home side were reduced to 14 men as flank Brad Shields was shown a yellow card.
However, they would go the length of the field for Laumape to score his second try before Beauden Barret went over for the seventh try which sealed the 41-22 victory.
For DHL Stormers:
Con: Du Preez
Pens: Du Preez, Marais 4
Tries: Jane, J Barrett 2, J Savea, Laumape 2, B Barrett
Cons: J Barrett 3