Hull FC coach Peter Gentle conceded his side were second best after they suffered a 44-14 defeat away to Catalan Dragons in the Stobart Super League.
The Dragons moved back up to third in the table after a convincing victory in a game which had been postponed in February because of a frozen pitch.
Gentle admitted: "They were just too big, quick and tough for us today.
"We should have put a better effort in than what we did, it took us 65 minutes before we got involved in the game defensively."
Gentle turned his focus to Hull's next fixture when they visit fierce neighbours Hull Kingston Rovers a week on Monday.
He said: "We look forward to next week now, we have a big turn around and it means we can prepare well for them.
"We are doing it tough at the moment, but every side does it tough at one point of the season and we have got to pick ourselves up and be a lot better."
Gentle felt his players need to be "smarter" than they were against Catalan, adding: "I think some of our players are over confident, there is no respect for the ball, no respect for the rules, there can be no argument with the penalties we gave away.
"We're taking a long time to learn a lesson, we've got to be smarter than we were today."
Catalan coach Trent Robinson praised Scott Dureau, Leon Pryce and Clint Greenshields, who between them scored five of the Dragons' eight tries.
"We were found wanting a couple of times in defence tonight but I thought our combinations were superb and a lot better than recent weeks. Dureau, Pryce and Greenshields all linked up well to perform well for us," said Robinson.
"Julian Bousquet had a good game, and it's great to see him and the likes of Mathias Pala play well, take their carries and hit hard.
"They stood up and these are proud moments for me as a coach.
"Clint Greenshields was amazing out there for us today.
"He was on the spot for a lot of plays for us and he got rewarded with a couple of tries at the end. I thought he was outstanding today."