NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney admits the 34-6 loss to the Wests Tigers was a brutal reality check for his squad.
After last week's convincing win over the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Warriors were brought back to earth, when the Tigers outplayed them in every department.
Hooker Robbie Farrah was the mastermind behind the Tigers performance, claiming three try assists and scoring one himself at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.
The Warriors' poor performance was filled with basic errors and silly penalties, as they finished the match with a 61 percent completion rate, while making nearly 100 tackles more than their opposition.
All Tigers' six tries came off the back of errors and penalties, and Kearney knows they have to fix things fast.
"I think some of us thought it was going to be an easier night than what they anticipated," said Kearney.
"I just thought there were some individuals tonight on the cloud they finished off with last week. The lesson for this footy team is the NRL is every week, as we all know.
"You've got to turn up, regardless of where they are on the table, what round it is. It was a good lesson for them."
Early in the match, the Warriors had three chances to score the first try, but poor decision-making and costly errors in the red zone let the Tigers off the hook.
Centre Solomone Kata tried his predictable drive over the line from dummy half, but dropped the ball and minutes later, lock Lachlan Burr made a silly mistake with the Warriors hot on attack.
After Wests centre Esan Marsters produced a try-saving tackle on Kiwi teammate Ken Maumalo, things quickly went downhill for the Auckland club and two tries just before halftime saw the Warriors head into the sheds down 12-0.
The Warriors responded early in the second half, when Maumalo crossed for his second try of the season, but that was as good as it got for Kearney's men, as the mistakes slowly crept in and the Tigers pounced scoring three more tries in the final 15 minutes.
"The Tigers out-enthused us, out-energised us and had a real attitude to get a job done tonight," Kearney added.
"I thought for the first half an hour, it was a real arm wrestle, and we let them get away from us and were our own worst enemy.
"It was like a pool of quicksand tonight. We tried getting out of it, but it kept sucking us back under.
"I have to give credit to the Tigers - they were well coached tonight."
The result sees the Tigers finish the round at the top of the table for the first time in the joint venture's history, while the Warriors drop back to eighth.
The Warriors will travel to Christchurch for their next match - an away game against Manly Sea Eagles.
Both teams are expected to arrive in the Garden City early to help support the community, after the terrorist shooting that occurred there a fortnight ago.
Join Newshub from 5:00 Saturday for live updates of the Warriors vs Sea Eagles.