I guess we did kind of sneak in
Reds captain Will Genia pointed to his team's error rate as their worst enemy in their loss to the Sharks in Brisbane.
The Reds have found good form towards the end of the season and won their last six games to snatch the Australian conference at the last minute and claim a home play-off match, but they were blown off the park by a powerful Sharks outfit on Saturday.
Genia said that his team had cost themselves by giving the Sharks the opportunity to punish them in the first place.
"We didn't start well, we made sloppy mistakes. We were inside their 22 right at the start of the game but we released pressure by knocking balls on so we didn't give ourselves any opportunity or chance in the game.
"More often than not you get the rub of the green from the ref if you are on the front foot and the Sharks were," he said.
Genia believes that the key moments in the match crucially went the way of the Sharks and was left reflecting on just how close his team had come to securing a semifinal spot.
"I thought we scored a try off Gill's [Liam Gill] pick and go but I don't understand how it was inconclusive.
"I don't want to rue missed opportunities but I felt that if we had got that try we would be right in the game, and then Mikey's [Mike Harris] penalty shot, if we had got that then it would have been 20-20 so it is disappointing to end on such a sad note," he said.
The Wallaby scrumhalf found himself at flyhalf when the suspended Quade Cooper's replacement Ben Lucas left the field with injury, and was left frustrated with his team's inability to penetrate the stubborn Sharks defence in the second half.
"I think in that second half we held onto the ball for about 20 minutes in their half and we came away with one try," he said.
Genia added that although his team had only just snuck into the play-offs before being knocked out at home, they were satisfied with the fight they had shown just to get into that position at all.
"I guess we did kind of sneak in but you have got to work hard to put yourself in these positions and we knew what we had to do last week and we came out with a great result to knock the Brumbies out," he said.