Aberdeen Grammar coach Ali O'Connor labelled his players' set-piece play worse than terrible after watching them slip into the National 1 relegation zone following defeat at home by Edinburgh Accies.
Grammar trailed 13-0 to the league leaders at Rubislaw and rarely looked like threatening a capital side O'Connor expects to be playing Premiership rugby next season.
The Grammar coach said: "Our defending was very good, which may sound surprising given the scoreline. But we did well against a side which enjoyed the majority of possession.
"However, our set-piece was worse than terrible. We lost our own lineouts and more often than not our scrum was pushed back.
"We didn't expect to take much from the game, given the quality of opposition we were facing. But there were some good individual displays on an otherwise difficult afternoon for us."
Edinburgh Accies raced into a 13-0 lead by half-time thanks to a Ben Appleson penalty and tries from Connor Weetman and Jamie Sole.
The leaders extended the advantage to 25 points through a Clement Lacour try and Will Stephen conversion, with Alex Glashan also touching down to give his side a bonus point.
Grammar reduced the deficit thanks to Conor Lavery's try but Accies finished in the ascendency with Matt Coupar adding a try converted by Will Stephen.
Stewart's Melville's 27-20 victory at Falkirk allowed them to leapfrog Grammar, who are now second bottom of the division.
Stewart's Melville are the visitors to Rubislaw this Saturday.
O'Connor said: "We find ourselves in the relegation zone now, which is not a good place to be. We have a massive game ahead against Stewart's Melville.
"With Hamilton beating Selkirk, it means we face a crucial couple of weeks before the winter break and it going to take a huge effort from everyone involved to help pull the club out of the trouble we find ourselves in."
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Aberdeen Rugby: Connor Lavery; Grant Walker, Alex Ratcliffe, Kyle McFarlane, Calum Ruxton; Tom Aplin, Jake Gray; Rob Ellinson, Conall Howard, Ross Anderson; Matthew McCall, Aaron Robertson; Robin Cessford, Chris Jollands, Calum Champion (c).
Replacements: Mike Coix, Frank Selbie, Dom Wallen, Andrew Ovenstone, Doug Russell.
Edinburgh Accies: Ben Appleson; Matthew Coupar, Neil Armstrong, Jack Forrester, Stuart Kirby; Will Stephen, Alex Glashan; Shaun Gunn, Connor Weetman, Clement Lacour, Ronan Seydak, Neill Aitken; Greg Campbell, Jamie Sole (c), Tom Drennan.
Replacements: Callum Black, Dan Falkner, Duncan Campbell, Max Love, Paul Louden.