After leading for most of the match, the Stormers let it slip in the closing stages as they went down in a 22-18 defeat to Benetton Treviso in their opening United Rugby Championship fixture in Italy on Saturday.
The Stormers got off to an explosive start, with inside centre Rikus Pretorius pouncing on a loose ball and charging over for their first try just 70 seconds into the match.
Benetton, who beat the Bulls in the Rainbow Cup final in June, retained their composure in the early stages and hit back with hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi finding a gap to score their first five-pointer.
Two penalties by flyhalf Manie Libbok, however, put the Stormers back in front and they were 11-7 ahead at the break.
Extending their lead soon after the restart, outside centre Ruhan Nel went over after an attacking scrum and Benetton looked to be in trouble.
But the home side hit back again, with Ivan Nemer powering over after a lineout, and flyhalf Tomas Albornoz slotted the conversion as they trailed 18-14 midway through the second half.
Soon after, Albornoz was successful with a penalty attempt, bringing Benetton within just one point of the visitors (18-17).
And with less than 10 minutes left, Tommaso Menoncello went over in the corner to snatch the win.
Stormers – Tries: Rikus Pretorius, Ruhan Nel. Conversion: Manie Libbok. Penalties: Libbok (2).
Benetton- Tries: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Tommaso Menoncello. Conversions: Tomas Albornoz (2). Penalty: Albornoz.