But it needed to be absorbed before Friday's game with the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
It had been disappointing not to back up their upset win over the Crusaders a week earlier, he said.
They hadn't been able to put the Chiefs under enough pressure. Conceding penalties had let the pressure off the Chiefs, while the Highlanders had also been guilty of pushing unnecessary passes, he said.
"The Chiefs had a good game plan, they kicked a lot. They normally run quite a bit more than they did, and we just took a while to adapt to it.
"They kicked long, so it was hard to get into their half," he said.
Looking to the Blues on Friday night, he said they were sides with contrasting styles, and it would be the side that executed their game plan best that succeeded.
The Chiefs showed the Highlanders a blueprint of how to beat the Blues earlier in the competition.
"They had an awesome night at the set-piece and put the Blues under pressure there, so if you take them on at source that is a good start to the game for us. They're athletes, if they get the ball going forward they are dangerous. They're a big momentum team with a pretty smart kicking game," he said.
Combating that would be a challenge for the Highlanders, but they owed their fans a win at home, so they would be looking forward to that.
Flanker Shannon Frizell said it had been a disappointing loss, but they had to turn around quickly to play at home against the Blues this weekend.
"The boys are pretty gutted, but this week we've got to go again," he said.
Frizell said his decision to sign with the side for another two years was easy.
"I feel like I have got a lot more to learn and the best place is to learn that here with the Highlanders," he said.
The attraction wasn't only on the field. There was also the fishing he enjoyed with his teammates.
While he was happy with his form in 2021, there was frustration among the side that they hadn't managed to play to their plan as often as they would like.
Frizell said they were expecting a tough forward battle against the Blues.