De Villiers starting to doubt himself
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers was searching for answers after his team stumbled in the Super Rugby semi-finals for the second consecutive year.
The Stormers slumped to their first home defeat of the season when it counted most in front of a sell-out Newlands crowd and the Springbok centre cut a bleak figure as he struggled to hide the bitter disappointment of coming so close yet again.
"It is going to take a while to get over this one," said a clearly emotional De Villiers.
"I have to be honest with you. I'm starting to doubt myself and doubt my captaincy," added the Springbok skipper.
"When you've been in this situation so many times you starting looking deep for what the real issue is.
"I ask myself could we have prepared better? No. Did we have the right attitude on the field? Yes.
"The commitment was there. It probably came down to not using those opportunities that we did create.
"We went through some very dark places this season and came out on top and for that I'm very proud to be part of this team. It's just a pity about tonight.
"It's an hour after the game and I'm looking for answers. I hope by Monday I feel better.
"There are so many people out there who are disappointed and that's the hardest part.
"It is tough when you get such good support here, week in and week out and you can't pay them back with some sort of cup to show for it."
The Stormers were playing catch-up rugby after a great try from Louis Ludik gave the Sharks a ten-point lead.
"It shows how close rugby is ... the bounce of the ball, seven points and that was the difference in the end," added De Villiers.
"We can only blame ourselves. We had 80 minutes to prove that we are good enough and in the end we were short."
"I don't think we ever stopped trying, but we were short."
De Villiers repeated his comments from earlier in the week that he believes the Sharks could go all the way and win the title if they got the job done at Newlands.
"The Sharks are on a roll. They're on a mission.
"If there is a team you can't bet against to win this thing it is the Sharks. They've shown they can overcome the travelling. It'll be tough for them but I think they've got a great chance."