Reds head coach Richard Graham says that they are disappointed that they did not capitalise on the opportunities they created and let the game slip from them.
The Reds lost 35-20 to the Sharks in Durban after trailing 25-6 at half time but fought back with tries through Mike Harris and Will Genia to open up the chance of a comeback victory, before a late Sharks' try killed off the match.
The Reds had the Sharks under heavy pressure and pinned them back in their half for most of the second half but failed to make the most of their possession and teritory.
"We started the game very well and managed position and possession. We then had a 20-minute period where we lost control of the game and decisions at the breakdown compounded the scoreboard pressure," Graham said.
"The score at half time was challenging, but we composed ourselves and got back to 28-20. "
"At that point the game was where we should have gone on with it."
"We had a couple of opportunities that we didn't capitalise on and we are disappointed."
The Reds lost the chance of an upset when replacement Beau Robinson was yellow carded for playing a man in the air at the lineout and the momentum swung back to the Sharks.
The man-advantage eventually told and a late try to Dale Chadwick after a period of sustained pressure finally ended the Reds' chances, although Queensland continued to attack well after the siren.
The Reds now move on to Johannesburg where they play the Lions at Ellis Park.
"We wake up tomorrow and shift our focus to next weekend's match against the Lions," Graham said.
"They have started the season strongly and will be buoyed by their win over the Blues. We need to prepare well and continue to improve if we are to get the result we are chasing."
Reds prop Ben Daley will travel home to Brisbane tomorrow to receive scans on his right knee after coming off the field with an injury in the 75th minute of the game.