South Sydney coach Michael Maguire says his side let themselves down in the key moments during Friday night's 30-12 Telstra Premiership loss to the Parramatta Eels.
The Rabbitohs started the game on fire and were deservedly in front 6-0 after 10 minutes but couldn't keep up the intensity as the game wore on.
The 2014 premiers had their chances at ANZ Stadium in what was a crucial game for their finals hopes but couldn't convert their opportunities, especially after half-time.
Dane Nielsen and Sam Burgess both had tries correctly disallowed in the second half, while a careless error by Cameron McInnes from the base of the scrum 10 metres out from his own line directly led to an Eels try moments later.
While those plays hurt, Maguire said the most disappointing moment of the game came in the 16th minute when Corey Norman was given all the time in the world to put in an attacking kick for Clint Gutherson to score unopposed.
The Rabbitohs have been one of the leaders in kick pressure in 2016 with the likes of Sam Burgess, Paul Carter and Nathan Brown successfully harassing playmakers late in sets.
To Maguire's dismay, that wasn't the case on this occasion.
"Key moments in games, you've got to win them," Maguire said after Friday night's 18-point loss.
"Every team goes out to get kick pressure on and there was one instance there where we didn't and sure enough we paid the price.
"The first try probably said a lot about our game. We had an opportunity to put a bit of pressure on the kicker and we didn’t, and sure enough they got a try.
"They're the simple fundamentals of the game that you've got to achieve in those moments of time. There were quite a number of those throughout the game, but there were a number of periods where we actually had a lot of strength in what we're doing.
"But it's all the little, simple things that I continually talk about in the game that if you don't achieve them consistently at a high level, you give teams opportunities. We paid the price tonight."
Life doesn’t get any easier for the Rabbitohs with games against top eight teams coming up over the next three weeks.
Maguire said it wasn't all doom and gloom for the club, but acknowledged that it was imperative for his players to start playing better and for longer periods.
"There are a lot of good things in what we're doing, but you've got to do that for an 80-minute game. That's what you get selected to do in the NRL if you want to be successful in this game," he said.
"We're in a situation where we need to – individually and as a team – really have a look at the areas of the game that we want to do right consistently for an 80-minute period."