Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has slammed his side's performance against the Brumbies, declaring the second half the "worst 40 minutes of football" his side has played during his four years in charge.
The 24-12 defeat at the hands of an ACT outfit desperate to keep their season alive was painful viewing for Hurricanes fans, the visitors pinned in their own half for 60 percent of the second term.
Poor discipline, kicking and uncharacteristic errors all played a part as Boyd seethed post match.
"It's probably the worst 40 minutes of football we have played in four years," the Hurricanes coach said.
"I don't think there is any excuse - we just gave away too many penalties and allowed them territory.
"It was a tough day at the office.
"At the end of the day one team was desperate to stay alive and we've already qualified for playoffs - now it's just figuring out where we play and who against - but that doesn't excuse that performance."
The loss was Wellington's third straight defeat but reinforcements will arrive for the round 18 clash with the Blues - Beauden Barrett, Brad Shields and Vaea Fifita all expected to be available for selection.
"I'm sure if we look at the attitude, skills and the decisions it's probably a combination of three things," Boyd said.
"We just have to find some fire again."
Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara admitted his side were far from their best and pointed to individual preparation as the key to saving the sinking ship ahead of a finals run.
"We didn't give ourselves great opportunities to win that game," Perenara said.
"It's credit to them - they did a lot of good stuff as well when they had the ball - they drove well, they put us under pressure that way.
"But we can control that by making sure we are more accurate.
"It starts as individuals and then it goes to our group.
"The 9s and 10s, tight forwards, we can strip it back to individuals and then look at it that way - we can put ourself in a good position to win."