Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says his side should not be satisfied with their gallant comeback effort against the Highlanders.
While he acknowledged the effort his players put in to draw themselves from 30 points down to trail by just four in the final minutes Gibson was frank about his side’s performance.
“We definitely didn’t play well,” he said.
“I’m very firm on that.
“We can not at all be satisfied with the fact that we came back to 26 points.
“We got outplayed, that’s the fact, we gave up too much and while valiant and the efforts I’ll acknowledge, we got beat and that’s the hard facts."
The Waratahs sit 1-2 after four weeks of the competition and have fallen short against the two leading contenders in the Brumbies and Highlanders over the past three weeks.
Gibson said there was a gulf between their Waratahs' current spot and where they aspire to be.
“We’ve clearly got a fair way to go in terms of the type team we want to become and the type of Rugby we want to play,” he said.
“At different times we can be very good and at times we can be pretty ordinary so it’s that stuff that is killing us.”
Waratahs captain Michael Hooper was similarly dejected by the loss but said there was plenty of upside left in the side.
“I’d prefer to lose by three points in the last minute than go down the way we did and try and come back,” he said.
“The thing is we’ve got so much improving in us that it should be a really exciting Monday coming in (next week).
“It feels like the competition has been going for ages but we’ve only played three games.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley is expected to return to the Waratahs team to face the Reds on Sunday week, after another long turnaround for NSW.
Foley has missed a month with a shoulder injury suffered in the Waratahs trial against the Highlanders.