Stunned Stormers centre and vice-captain Jean de Villiers conceded his team were "outclassed" by a better team in all facets of play.
The homeless Crusaders continued a relentless charge towards Super Rugby glory with an emphatic 29-10 semifinal triumph over the Stormers.
And De Villiers admitted they produced a disappointingly sub-par performance.
"We just were not up for it and you can't win a rugby game like that," the Springbok centre said.
"The vital thing in games like this is that you take your opportunities.
"We had a couple of opportunities early on, where I though we should have scored, but we came back with just three points and in a game like this it is just not enough."
He felt the turning point was in the 15th minute.
Sean Maitland excepted a gift of a try, after Nick Koster threw a shocking intercept pass and the Stormers' cover had no hope of catching Maitland.
"That intercept try definitely swung things in their favour and from there on they just got better and better."
De Villiers said the Stormers will have to learn some harsh lessons from Saturday's loss.
"I don't think we pitched up today ... that comes down to the individual and the team.
"We have to learn from these things."
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