When it came to key moments in Dunedin, the Brumbies lost almost all of them and that was the difference for coach Dan McKellar.
The Brumbies trailed by just five points early in the second half against the Highlanders, before being blown away to ultimately lose 43-17.
“At 15-10, we were attacking really nicely and we go the long pass and (Waisake) Naholo grabs an intercept and goes the length of the field,” he said.
“It changes the game and (then there was) another turnover try there.
“That's what hurt us.”
The Brumbies were tough in defence, led by David Pocock, and their scrum hit some high notes, but their lineout lacked accuracy at times, giving the Highlanders chances to pounce.
Despite the disappointing result, which added another match to the tally of Australian Super Rugby losses in New Zealand, McKellar said he was proud of his side.
“It's a fine line - the margins are very small, coming to New Zealand to try and get a win and there’s a couple of plays there where we go one more phase, we score, and all of a sudden we're in front,” he said.
“I think it's a learning for our players in our squad is just the room for error in those key moments over here is small.”
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger was happy with the way his side controlled the game.
“I thought we managed the game well,” he said.
“We asked for a bit of management around our territory game and I thought we got that.
The Brumbies take on the Jaguares at GIO Stadium next Sunday, kicking off at 4:05pm AEST. Buy tickets here.