The Crusaders withstood fierce Stormers pressure at the death to claim a hard-fought 19-14 victory in front of a packed Newlands this morning.
The Stormers were left to regret their decision not to take the points from three kickable penalties in the final 10 minutes, as they instead went for the winning try but found their path blocked by the resolute defence by the Crusaders.
The home team was also guilty of committing too many errors over the course of the match, losing six of its own lineouts, allowing the more consistent Crusaders to come away with the spoils.
Without captain Kieran Read and first five-eighth Dan Carter, the Crusaders looked in early trouble when Stormers flanker Siya Kolisi crossed over for the opening try in 16th minute.
Seven minutes later the Stormers went out to a 11-0 lead before the Crusaders came back to score 13 unanswered points and take the lead into the halftime break.
Tom Marshall sparked the comeback with a line break setting up a Matt Todd try, the visitor's only try of the match, while Carter's replacement Tyler Bleyendaal slotted a brace of penalties and a conversion in final quarter of the first half.
Bleyendaal kicked two more penalties in the second half to finish with 14 points.
Joe Pietersen kicked three penalties for the home side.
The Crusaders' third win of the season, after losing their opening two games, sees them leapfrog the Blues and Hurricanes into second spot on the New Zealand Conference and fifth on the overall standings.
They end their trip to the Republic by taking on the South African Conference leading Sharks next weekend in Durban.
Try: Matt Todd. Penalties: Tyler Bleyendaal 4, Con: Bleyendaal
Try: Siya Kolisi. Penalties: Joe Pietersen 3.