Highlanders captain Nasi Manu has admitted that they will need to improve if they are to make it to the Semi-finals.
The Highlanders lost 34-8 to the Crusaders in their final regular season match but stil qualified for the qualifying final.
The qualifying final will be the Highlanders first Super Rugby play off for 12 years and they will face either the Crusaders or Sharks in next weekend's first round.
The Dunedin franchise will have to wait until the Sharks have completed their match before their fixture for new week can be confirmed.
The most likely scenario is that the Highlanders will have to travel almost 10700 km to Durban to face the Sharks.
"It definitely hurts but we've got a chance, we're in the playoffs and we've got to be better next week," said Highlanders captain Nasi Manu after the loss to the Crusaders.