Cheetahs captain Andries Strauss admitted that his side probably did not deserve to win at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night, despite dominating the Blue Bulls for long periods of the game.
The Cheetahs managed to butcher a 17-6 half-time lead by letting the home team back into the match after the break and eventually went down 33-30 in dramatic fashion.
Strauss said that the Bloemfontein outfit felt as though they had thrown a sure thing away.
He explained: "This was a game we should have won, whether we deserved to win it I am not quite sure but this was definitely a game that we targeted to win at the beginning of the season and we are very disappointed with the result.
The Cheetahs skipper said that his team's approach in the second half had let them down as the home side gained momentum and confidence before sneaking in front at the death.
"Just after half-time they came back and scored two early tries which put us on the back foot and I suppose we defended our lead a little," said Strauss.
However, the Free State inside centre was not getting too despondent and explained that the way that his team reacts to this result will be key to their campaign.
He said: "There are things that we can work on, the season is still long. We have got a couple of months to go and hopefully this doesn't come back and bite us.
"We have got enough quality players at the union to compete in this competition specifically and I definitely think that we are in with a chance of winning it, so losing games like this is just not good enough for us," added Strauss.
Strauss said that he was positive that the Cheetahs would grow as a team as the season progresses.
"It is exciting times for the Free State, I think that if we can build on the team we have now then we might be even more exciting in the future," he said.
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