Blue Bulls captain Jono Ross believes his team will still make the Currie Cup semi-finals despite their 35-26 loss to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.
That defeat leaves the Pretoria-based outfit with just two wins from seven matches.
The Bulls are in fifth place on the table, just a point ahead of the last-placed Griquas, and they trail the Free State Cheetahs in fourth by five points.
"I still believe we're going to make the semi-finals but we just have to stop playing against ourselves," Ross said.
"Again we played with 14 men for 20 minutes and our discipline let us down. It's frustrating speaking about the same things every week, but the same things are going wrong.
"The one positive is the way we played in the last 10 minutes, to come back and get a bonus point showed a lot of guts and it gives us hope."
Bulls coach Pine Pienaar pointed out that the bonus point left his team just five points behind the Cheetahs, a deficit they can make up in one weekend.
He lamented the two yellow cards in the first half that meant his team were chasing the game practically from the outset.
"We put pressure on ourselves because of our discipline," Pienaar said.
"When you give away penalties, you lose territory and momentum, but I was encouraged by the last 10 minutes."
Fullback Clayton Blommetjies was yellow-carded in the 19th minute for a trip, while fly-half Tony Jantjies followed him to the sin-bin 13 minutes later after handling the ball in a ruck on his own try-line.