Western Force pivot Sam Norton-Knight said Friday's loss to the Hurricanes was disappointing after all his side's hard work during the week.
The visitors were six points short of their first win in Wellington, going down to the Hurricanes 22-16.
The Force pulled their way back from a 15-3 half-time deficit, controlling the ball for long periods of the match and getting within striking distance at the final whistle, before having to settle for a consolation bonus point for their efforts.
Coincidentally, all the Force points came from the former Hurricanes pairing of Alby Mathewson and Jayden Hayward.
"It felt good out there, our preparation all week was fantastic," said Norton-Knight.
"At times we were able to execute, it was just little areas that let us down unfortunately.
"Our set-piece was awesome. The line-out was a massive step up from last week and Toby [Lynn] has worked really hard with Stilesy there and we were really happy with the ball they were able to deliver.
"Using tennis terminology, you haven't broken serve until you've held; and you haven't put points on the board until you've exited properly and put pressure back on them, and that's what we were unable to do," he added.
"It's a little bit frustrating but you play against a team like the Hurricanes and they can hurt you from positions that other teams can't and that's what they did."
The injury-hit Hurricanes scored three tries to one but had to battle until the final whistle as Hayward's boot kept the Force in the game.
"We were working really hard but obviously missing some leaders within the team," said captain Conrad Smith.
"It wasn't pretty but we'll take a win, she's a tough competition."