The Stormers gave the Crusaders chances of hosting a home semi-final a hammer blow when they beat them by 42 points to 14 in Cape Town.
The result means that the Stormers became the first South African team to beat all five New Zealand Super 14 teams in one year.
The match was prevented from flowing by referee Stuart Dickinson who persistantly blew the Crusaders up for penalties which Peter Grant consistantly converted into points.
The Stormers first penalty was awarded within 10 seconds of the kick off for obstruction.
Grant took eight penalty kicks and converted seven of them into points while Crusaders kicker Dan Carter had one kick at the posts for a penalty which he missed. Carter did however convert both of the Crusaders tries.
The Stormers however outscored the Crusaders by three tries to two thanks to a late second try by Jaque Fourie.
The Stormers took an early lead with two penalties but the Crusaders hit back when Peter Grant attempted to clear the ball only for Dan Carter to charge down the kick and regather the ball and score the first try of the match which he converted putting the Crusaders into the lead.
The Stormers took the lead back 10 minutes later when Peter Grant kicked his third penalty. By half time the Stormers were leading 12-7 after Grant landed his fourth penalty.
After leading by five points at half time centre Jaque Fourie scored two tries and Fijian Sireli Naqelevuki one and the other 27 points came from the boot of fly-half Peter Grant via three conversions and seven penalties.
Flyhalf Dan Carter converted his own try and another from fullback Colin Slade in a sad 100th Super appearance for Crusaders flanker and skipper Richie McCaw.
Both teams were suffered from Australian-induced hangovers with Stormers losing narrowly to the Reds on the last leg of their Australasia tour while the Crusaders suffered a shock defeat to the Force.
The Crusaders were penalised for obstruction from the kick-off before a 48,000 crowd and Grant slotted the penalty to give the home team the lead just 68 seconds into the match.
Grant landed a second penalty on seven minutes and the Stormers were six points ahead after All Blacks icon McCaw fell foul of Australian referee Stuart Dickinson.
But within a minute Grant took too long to clear a pass from scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage and his kick was charged down by rival pivot Carter, who gathered a kind bounce and dived over.
The Stormers responded with a multi-phase attack only for fullback Gio Alpon to be blown after not releasing the ball, but Grant landed his third penalty with 21 minutes gone to put the home team in front again.
Usually deadly place kickers Carter and Grant missed a penalty attempt each as the Stormers applied pressure and prop Brok Harris lost possession just five yards from the Crusaders line.
Another multi-phase assault from the Cape Town franchise came to an end when number eight Duane Vermeulen was penalised for obstruction before a fourth Grant penalty extended the lead to five points.
Dickinson lost his patience with the frequent infringing of the visitors on the stroke of half-time and sent number eight Kieran Read to the sin bin while Grant failed with another penalty effort after the hooter sounded.
The Stormers made their numerical advantage pay seven minutes into the second half when Springbok centre Fourie broke from midfield and shrugged off several opponents to dot down.
Grant added two penalties within five minutes and midway through the second half the Stormers had established a 25-7 lead thanks to a dominance of territory and possession.
The South African fly-half was having a 'stormer' and his break almost led to another try with Vermeulen held up over the line after Nagelevuki was stopped just short.
The Crusaders needed points desperately and thought they scored a second try with 10 minutes left through wing Sean Maitland, but the television match official ruled he knocked the ball forward.
Stormers sealed victory when Naqelevuki raced over after good work by lock Adriaan Fondse and centre Juan de Jongh and Grant converted before fullback Colin Slade grabbed a late consolation try that Carter converted.
Fourie had the last say in the final minute before a frenzied crowd by racing over unopposed after slick handling and an Aplon break created an opening.
Final Score Stormers 42 Crusaders 14
Tries - J Fourie 2, S. Naqelevuki
Pen - P. Grant 7
Con - P Grant 3
Tries - D. Carter, C Slade
Con - D. Carter 2
Cards - Kieran Read (39) Yellow
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Aus)
Assistant referees: Pro Legoete (SA), Andrew Lees (Aus)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SA)
Stormers - 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller.
Reserves: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Eusebio Guinazu, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Tim Whitehead.
Crusaders - 15 Colin Slade, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robert Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i; 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Sam Whitelock, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Daniel Bowden, 22 Jared Payne.