Having avoided defeat in Durban, Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson wasn't drawing too much comfort from his side's 24-24 draw with the Sharks.
The NSW franchise needed a late try from Mitch Short and then Bernard Foley's bang-on conversion from near the touchline to come away with a draw from Kings Park.
They'd hoped to be able to follow up their opening round success against the Stormers in Sydney, but Gibson conceded the performance wasn't up to scratch.
"I thought we were pretty poor tonight to be frank," he said. "At times we lacked ball control, we turned the ball over too much, put a lot of pressure on ourselves and to come away from a game with two points; sure, happy about that.
"We're not walking away rejoicing at all. We had a pretty honest assessment in the changing room and probably know we need to get a lot better if we want to be competitive in this competition."
The 2014 Super Rugby champions have been also-rans in their two seasons since Gibson took over from Michael Cheika, finishing 10th and 16th.
The Waratahs are hoping Kurtley Beale's rib injury will clear up in time for him to take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires next weekend.
Gibson has spelled out to his side that they have to raise their game, saying they had got out of jail against the Stormers. Ned Hanigan's last-minute converted try against the South Africans was all that separated the teams in a 34-27 victory.
"This week we played pretty averagely and came away with two points," he added. "It depends which side of the fence you sit on with that one, but we know we've got a lot of work to do; we're determined to be much better than we were here."
The Waratahs are 18/1 to win the Super Rugby Grand Final, with the Crusaders 2/25 and the Chiefs 5000/1.
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