Eight tries against us is unacceptable
The Eastern Province Kings find themselves in a deep, dark tunnel after their 14-53 hammering at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The loss, in the first of two Currie Cup promotion-relegation matches, leaves the Kings with virtually no chance of playing in the top flight next year.
And they are desperately searching for some positives for their first loss.
Kings captain Wayne Stevens admitted the Cheetahs had given them a hiding and that they faced a huge challenge in the return leg.
“We got a rugby lesson against the Cheetahs,” Stevens said.
“We leaked too many tries and just couldn't hold on to the ball.
“We gave away too much turnover possession and it showed on the scoreboard.
“Eight tries against us is unacceptable.
"We still have a mathematical chance of getting to the Currie Cup [competition] and we will put in everything this week.”
The Cheetahs broke the Kings' 16-game winning streak, but Stevens was adamant that his side, set to make their Super Rugby debut next season, could retain their unbeaten status at home as they looked to make the step up from the first division of the domestic competition.
“There is still a lot of pride on the line,” Stevens said.
“We want to give something back to our home crowd.”