Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said that being reduced to 14 men in their 37-24 loss to the Blues in Auckland hurt them as they "didn't react well enough".
Match referee Garratt Williamson sin-binned Hurricanes fullback Matt Proctor for what he and the TMO deemed to be an intentional knock down and awarded the Blues a penalty try.
While Proctor was in the sin-bin the Blues scored a second try which meant that the host picked up 14 points from the incident.
"I think we felt we were further behind than we were," said Smith after the match.
"We started well and then we didn't react well enough when we were 14 men and gave up 14 points."
"I thought they defended really well at the end of that first half and when we didn't score we started panicking. "
"There's not much between these sides, I say that every week, and we weren't quite there, they turned up and that's what happens."
The Hurricanes host the Crusaders in Wellington when they return from the June break and then finish against the Chiefs in Hamilton.
The match in Hamilton against the Chiefs looks set to decide whether or not the Hurricanes will progress to the play offs.