Stormers coach Allister Coetzee did not mince his words saying it was a poor performance from his charges after losing their Super Rugby opener against the Bulls.
Morne Steyn's accurate place-kicking separated the two sides as he contributed 20 points to his side's 25-17 victory over the Stormers.
The hosts went into the half-time break with a nine-point lead which gave them the psychological edge in the second half.
Matters could have looked different had Stormers fly-half Elton Jantjies succeeded with his three attempts at goal in the first half.
"It is early in the season and we know now where we are as a team...it is just the mistakes and you can't make that many mistakes in a rugby game," Coetzee said.
"It has that snowball effect and you don't get into the game at all and you don't give yourself opportunity to play."
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers echoed Coetzee's sentiments and said the team was flat in the first half where they gave away "too many stupid penalties within kickable range".
"It is a massive wakeup call for us and it just shows the difference between Currie Cup and Super Rugby," he said.
"It is step-up and we didn't make that step today, it is only the first week of the competition but we need to improve from here.
"Last year we managed to take points from every single game we played and this time around we didn't even get a point tonight, it is definitely a couple of steps backwards."
Meanwhile, Bulls skipper Pierre Spies said the team could not have asked for a better start to their campaign and felt it would give them the confidence ahead of their next clash.
"It was important to start the season well, it is a high pressure game when you play the Stormers and it is the first game of the season. So there is a lot at stake," he said.
"When you win the game you take the confidence and momentum into the next week.
"It was a great team effort tonight and we were clinical and we are happy with the result."