Sharks head coach Robert du Preez was not happy with his side's effort after they lost 27-10 to the Lions at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
The defeat on home soil meant the Sharks would make the shorter trip to Johannesburg instead of Christchurch next week, but Du Preez was still less than pleased with how his team performed against the South African pace-setters, highlighting a lack of effort as being a concern.
"I'm not happy with the way we played. There was just no effort‚" he told TimesLIVE after their Super Rugby loss that kept them eighth.
"I don’t mind losing if you have given your best. One would be happy with that… our fans too. If you just come out here and get beaten up and make so many errors that is not good enough for the Sharks.
"There is no doubt that this is a good rugby team with talented players.
"But you’ve got to look at your mental state of mind and how switched on the players are. In the back of the players’ mind maybe there was the factor of travelling to New Zealand.
"That could have played a role but not to the extent it happened in this match."
However, Du Preez is expecting an improved performance from his men at Ellis Park, adding: "There is light at the end of the tunnel in that there is a second chance next Saturday.
"It is all to play for. Everything that happened before is gone now. (We’ve got) one go at it. We have that opportunity. It is in our hands."