Waratahs skipper Rob Simmons has conceded his team are "in a hole" after their winless start to the Super Rugby season continued with a demoralising loss to the Melbourne Rebels.
The Waratahs' six-game domination of the Rebels ended with a 24-10 loss at AAMI Park, giving Melbourne their first victory of the season.
The Sydneysiders struggled in the Melbourne rain, with coach Rob Penney saying they were unable to build any pressure with 19 unforced errors, which has become a worrying trend.
Simmons admitted the players were struggling after three successive losses, which is their worst ever start to a Super Rugby season.
"I think we all know we're in a hole, we're zero and three," Simmons said. "There's no way out of it except to fight our way out so we have to stick in there and keep learning and keep fronting up week to week.
"We're trying to learn from each week and grow and improve. It was disappointing as we had a good chance to make an improvement and we let ourselves down.
"We're doing some good things but then we let it slip."
Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale looked most likely to create something through the match but was guilty of some costly handling errors.
Their new halves combination of Will Harrison and Jake Gordon were also outplayed by Matt To'omua, who had his best match in Rebels colours, and Ryan Louwrens.
With a bye next week, Penney felt only time and hard work would solve their woes and help build confidence.
"There's a group there that's lacking a bit of confidence which is understandable so it won't be a revolution," he said.
"It will just be picking bodies and minds up and trying to get them in a position where they feel they can contribute meaningfully.
They at least emerged unscathed on the injury front.