Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies believes his team were not worthy of victory after losing 22-16 to Sale Sharks.
The Cherry and Whites were expected to win at home against a Sharks side that heavily struggled last season, narrowly avoiding relegation in the final few rounds.
Instead a strong Gloucester side trailed 19-3 at one stage and had England centre Billy Twelvetrees sent to the bin, whilst their set-piece stuttered throughout.
A try from Henry Trinder and two penalties from fly-half Freddie Burns brought the hosts right back into the match at 16-19, but Joe Ford's late drop goal for Sale confirmed the win for the away side.
Despite a controversial TMO decision for Sale's second try, when Andy Forsyth appeared to be offside on a kick through the defence, Davies focused the blame on his squad rather than the officials.
"There were moments in our game when we creaked and didn't really give us control of that match. Both line-out and scrum were poor in terms of us getting our game moving from that starting point," said Davies.
"At the end of the day, there were other areas - game management and the contact area - where we came second best and fundamental to our performance was the set-piece which we have to get right.
"I don't think we deserved to win it. We didn't have enough control of the game. The thing we have to do is lick our wounds a little bit.
We are wounded, we are humiliated but that is the nature of the sport we are in. It is the last thing we would want here at Kingsholm.
"I would say the second one was an offside from the kick but sometimes those calls go for you, sometimes they don't."