Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has labelled his side's loss to the Bulls as the "worst performance we've had" during his time with the Wellington franchise.
The 2016 champions lost 21-19 in Pretoria on Sunday morning (NZ time), despite holding the lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the match.
A 72nd-minute try to Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman proved the match-winner in a close affair.
It was a tough pill to swallow for the Hurricanes, who headed into the match as favourites to topple the South African side.
Boyd was hugely disappointed, as his side had been preparing for this clash for months in advance.
"In the period of time that I've been coaching, I don't think I've ever been involved in a game where we've prepared so well and delivered so little.
"We'd been preparing to play the Bulls at altitude since the 25th of November and probably earlier than that, because we knew what we were faced with.
"We got here and basically we ran out of legs again at altitude very quickly, and were unable to put our game together either defensively or offensively.
"That's probably the worst performance we've had in the four years or three-and-a-bit years that I've been involved with the Hurricanes."
Boyd said he realised after about three minutes of play that his side had not turned up for the match.
"The things that we normally do, we just stopped doing. So our defence was passive and wasn't well-connected and when we started trying to play, we ran out of bodies to play with because guys weren't getting there.
"I'll have to go back and have a look at the video, but they were either getting tied up in rucks or they were tired. So they weren't getting there and we resorted to kicking and we kicked the ball away too much.
"It's easy in these situations to start pointing the finger and trying to find a solution and there's probably not one thing; there's probably a whole bunch of things."
The Hurricanes will now turn their attention to their match against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
Prop Toby Smith an winger Wes Goosen were both injured, and Boyd is unsure if they will be fit to play in Argentina.