Cape Town - Stormers coach John Dobson says Saturday's 33-14 loss to the Blues at Newlands was a "massive wake-up call" for his side.
The Capetonians had won all four of their Super Rugby 2020 matches before Saturday but came unstuck with a woeful performance in front of over 20 000 people.
Speaking after the match, Dobson praised the Blues but acknowledged that his charges were well below par.
"I thought the Blue were superb," Dobson said at his post-match press conference.
"They came at us early and got us physically, and we didn't stay in the fight. They deserved the win, they deserved the margin of the win and we're extremely disappointed with that performance.
"It's a massive wake-up call."
Captain Steven Kitshoff added that the side had looked "lethargic" from as early as their pre-match warm-up, and Dobson agreed that they simply never seemed up for it.
"For me what was the most disappointing thing and something we pride ourselves on the whole time was our physicality and character, and both were absent today," said Dobson.
"We began to look like victims. We weren't working hard enough, we were sliding off tackles, we were giving yards on attack ... that's the most disappointing thing.
"It's a great wake-up call for what becomes a massive game against the Sharks, but it was very disappointing.
"I don't think that's who we are, what happened today, in fact I know it's not. I know we'll be back."
The Stormers have a bye this week, but their clash against the Sharks at Kings Park on March 14 has now become a crucial clash in the race for top spot in the South African Conference.
- Compiled by Sport24 staff