Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar concedes that his team need to lift their game dramatically after being hammered 62-23 by the MTN Golden Lions.
The Blue Bulls outfit doing battle in the Absa Currie Cup is a young one, with the stocks in Pretoria severely depleted by Springbok call-ups and a mini exodus of players to Europe and Japan, reports sarugby.com.
Despite this, the Loftus faithful are not accustomed to seeing their side let through eight tries and lose by nearly 40 points - and neither is their coach.
"The Lions played excellent rugby in the second half, but it also has to do with the mistakes we made. We knew if we gave them broken play, they would be deadly and that is what happened," Pienaar said.
"What happened [on Saturday] is inexcusable, so we'll have to go and have a look at the game and see which points we need to address."
The Blue Bulls mentor pointed to his team's inability to shut down their opponents in loose play as their major failing.
"We have to make sure we get a win next week in an away game, otherwise the competition can get away from us quickly," he said.
"We spoke in the beginning about how dangerous it is when you give the opposition even the smallest of opportunities.
"At junior levels you can still get away with it and you can scramble in defence, but it is a massive lesson for us."
Vodacom Blue Bulls 23 (16) MTN Golden Lions 62 (20)
The first half at Loftus Versfeld was tightly fought, as the Vodacom Blue Bulls and MTN Golden Lions matched one another with two tries and two penalties a piece.
This resulted in the teams being neck-on-neck for most of the half, although Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff proved to be more effective with the boot, which earned the visitors a narrow 20-16 lead at the break.
The Blue Bulls, however, snuck back into the lead three minutes into the second half as centre Francois Venter finished off a fantastic run of play following a break by Clayton Blommetjies for a 23-20 lead.
But the tables turned drastically on attack in the 49th minute after prop Morne Mellett was yellow-carded for infringing at a maul.
The Lions spread the ball to take advantage of the one-man overlap and it worked like a charm, earning them three tries in 10 minutes. They supported this with three more before the end of the match to take their tally to eight tries.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 23 (16) – Tries: Francois Venter, Jurgen Visser, Travis Ismaiel. Conversion: Jurgen Visser. Penalty: Visser. Drop Goal: Tony Jantjies.
MTN Golden Lions 62 (20) – Tries: Anthony Volmink, Deon Helberg, Derick Minnie (2), Elton Jantjies, Jaco Kriel, Warwick Tecklenburg, Willie Britz. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (8). Penalties: Boshoff (2).