Cape Town - Another Super Rugby playoff, another Stormers loss.
That is the unwanted monkey on the Cape side’s back they simply cannot seem to shed.
The Stormers’ playoff record went from bad to worse on Saturday night when the Chiefs pummelled them 60-21 at Newlands.
From a South African perspective, it was terrible to watch.
Aimless kicking, lacklustre defence and weakened skills levels compared to their opponents were evident on a sombre Cape winter’s evening.
Remarkably, the Stormers have now lost seven of eight Super Rugby playoff games over the years.
What’s worse is that five of those losses have been at their home, 'fortress' Newlands.
Hardly a fortress then is it, hence the inverted commas.
Even more alarming is that the five losses were all comfortable - the closest being a 26-19 reverse to the Sharks in 2012 when a late Stormers comeback proved in vain.
One win in eight attempts amounts to a 12.5% win-ratio in playoff games.
It’s simply unacceptable for a union with the vast amount of talent at its disposal.
Year after year the WP junior teams top their respective age group competitions - from Craven Week to the Under-21s.
The Currie Cup team finished top of this year's qualifying round but somehow these successes at lower levels cannot be filtered through to Super Rugby level - where it really matters.
It's a problem that Cape rugby bosses simply cannot seem to rectify after 20 years of mediocrity...
Stormers’ Super rugby playoff record:
1999 - lost to Otago Highlanders (33-18 in semi-finals, Cape Town)
2004 - lost to Crusaders (27-16 in semi-finals, Christchurch)
2010 - beat Waratahs (25-6 in semi-finals, Cape Town)
2010 - lost to Bulls (25-17 in final, Soweto)
2011 - lost to Crusaders (29-10 in semi-finals, Cape Town)
2012 - lost to Sharks (26-19 in semi-finals, Cape Town)
2015 - lost to Brumbies (39-19 in qualifier, Cape Town)
2016 - lost Chiefs (60-21 in quarter-finals, Cape Town)