Captain Conrad Smith says the Hurricanes believed too much of their own press and have paid the price with a disappointing Super Rugby season machine made sequin embroidery.
With one game remaining - a challenging trip to face the resurgent Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday dc motor speed control - the Hurricanes are 11th and reflecting on a season that has fallen short of the standards set last year.
The young 2012 side exceeded all expectations, missing the playoffs by one point and scoring 58 tries, comfortably more than any side.
Better was expected this season but six losses from their last seven games has seen them drift badly off the pace, having scored just 38 tries while leaking more points than last year Vitamin.
Smith is confident they can be better next year but only if the harsh lessons of the past few months are heeded wine tasting.
"We maybe felt we were better than what we were," Smith said.
"We might have forgotten some of the hard work that went into those results last year. When that starts to happen, it's dangerous.
"A lot of our young guys learned that this year and I think they'll be better for it."
Smith is confident of a significantly better campaign next year, particularly once two All Blacks backs who are still to re-commit to the Hurricanes - first five-eighth Beauden Barrett and wing Julian Savea - put pen to paper culturelle kids.
"I'm really optimistic, more so than when I started and we were making a lot of semis and finals (2003-09).
"I actually think this team's got more about it, even than those teams."
Smith says the realisation the they haven't achieved their best is motivating his team-mates to finish strongly against the fourth-placed Crusaders.
There is one starting change to the team to face the playoff-bound hosts, with Brad Shields replacing Faifili Levave on the blindside flank.
Alapati Leiua has been bracketed on the right wing, pending a fitness test, while halfback TJ Perenara limped out of a soggy training session on Wednesday favouring a knee Asian college of knowledge management. He was to undergo a scan.
Two young players could make their Super Rugby debuts off the reserve bench - midfield back Ope Peleseuma and lock/flanker Blade Thomson.
Hurricanes: James Marshall, Alapati Leiua/Matt Proctor, Conrad Smith, Reynold Lee-Lo, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Brad Shields, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Ben May, Ash Dixon, Ben Franks. Reserves: Reggie Goodes, John Schwalger, Blade Thomson, Faifili Levave, Chris Smylie, Ope Peleseuma, Proctor/Andre Taylor.