We could have drawn that game
Southern Kings boss Alan Solomons believes that his team deserved better than to leave Wellington empty-handed on Saturday.
The Eastern Cape franchise scored three tries of the Hurricanes and were right in the game until the final stages, but the only thing the Super Rugby rookies took away were some more lessons.
Solomons pointed to a few crucial mistakes which saw the game slip from his team's grasp.
"We could have drawn that game, we gave away a silly intercept try and we had some poor defence on their right hand touch line, our left hand touch line, where we went for an intercept where it wasn't on to go for an intercept and the consequence was that we blew that.
"We certainly had the opportunity to get the bonus point for coming in within seven points. Also I felt that we had opportunities, right near the end as well, to get bonus points for four tries, We came within a whisker of getting a double set of bonus points," he said.
Solomons said that discipline will be a major focus after a few individual errors saw his team give away some soft opportunities.
"I think the biggest thing for us, and I have been hammering the side for this. Every one of the Hurricanes tries comes through either an error or penalties, and what we have to understand is that if you make a mistake and give away a penalty, you will get hammered at this level. We have to cut our error rate, it is absolutely vital," he said.
Solomons said the team had lacked focus in the first twenty minutes of the game, and had been outmuscled.
"In the first 20 minutes we didn't start well. We made mistakes and gave away penalties which resulted in them scoring tries," he said.
"They outmuscled us a bit especially in those opening 20 minutes and they got a bit of a jump on us.
"I think we then started settling into the game and it's a pity that we gave away that try just before half-time, which put us a little on the back foot. We then fought back with a much better performance in the second half.
"We were very close to them at one point, there was like a six point difference between the two teams," said Solomons.
Head coach Matt Sexton was very happy with team's second-half performance and said that the final score did not truly reflect the efforts on the field.
"I think we came in at half-time. We came back into the game and put some pressure on," he said.
Sexton said the team continued to grow from week to week.
"We did have good periods but we just have to put those together," he said.
Solomons said the team had continued to show grit and determination on the field.
"The message I had to the players was that they have to keep working at it. Keep working hard and keep at it and it will eventually be rewarded. I think we were unfortunate to have not come away with at least one if not two bonus points," he said.