Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor said a poor completion rate and a number of defensive errors were the only reasons behind the Tigers' 46-6 thrashing at the hands of the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Sunday.
A two-try display from Raiders winger Jordan Rapana set up the 40-point victory for the home side with Taylor declaring the Tigers are shooting themselves in the foot with a lack of respect for the football.
"We just allowed them to have too much ball and never made them work hard enough," Taylor said post-game.
"As the game wears on and we're doing all the tackling, it gets tougher for yourself.
"Early in the game you can respond to that and hang on but at the moment we are allowing the opposition to have too much footy.
"We controlled the first 30 minutes really well with good execution in regards to getting repeat sets and controlling it, but it's our defence that let us down.
"We were defending so well in early periods of the game, but we are just coming up with defensive errors in a fashion that is too simple.
"We go in 18-6 down after doing the majority well in the first half.
"The boys spoke at half-time about how we were making good progress in the middle of the field and Canberra were struggling but in the second half we never got them to a point where they were under pressure because we just didn’t play enough sets.
"You've got to play some sets and make them tackle us and we just didn’t do that."
Skipper Aaron Woods was again the highest metre eater in the forward pack for the joint venture, and said the 10-minute period before half-time hurt the side, as well as not being able to convert a 70 percent possession stat in the opening quarter of the game to more points after a number of repeat sets.
"I thought we were good for the first 30 like JT (Taylor) said getting those repeat sets," Woods said.
"Those silly errors before half-time let in two tries back-to-back… it just felt like last week again.
"As a team we've got to be tougher and stronger in those situations.
"We should’ve put more points on them in the first 30 but that’s the NRL, you have to build pressure and go set-for-set."
To add further salt to the wounds, the Tigers lost back-rowers Sauaso Sue and Chris Lawrence in the second half after failing HIA assessments with Taylor joining Knights coach Nathan Brown at the weekend in hinting the rules needed to be looked at in regards to the concussion rule.
"We lost two guys today with HIA so that really put pressure on us as well, it was tough for us and we had two players out there that needed to come off but we couldn’t take them off," Taylor said.
"We had one [interchange] but if we make one with 20 minutes to go then we are playing with 13 men with no interchanges so if we get someone injured there, we are going to play the last period with 12 men.
"You've got players out there in a fatigued state and they're more at risk of getting injured.
"We had Jack Littlejohn out there defending in the middle of the field for a lot longer than we want him to be. He injured his shoulder before he came off too so he was under pressure and we just had to work through it because we didn’t have the changes."
After a strong opening to the season with a win over the Rabbitohs, the task will not get any easier for Taylor's men, who take on the Melbourne Storm at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
"We knew it was going to be a tough start to the season for us and that was compounded by Penrith who lost by a big scoreline, and Canberra was the same," Taylor said.
"At least Melbourne had a win [this week]."