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The side might have also lost first-choice halfback Josh Renton who looks to have broken a bone in his hand.
Otago has started the Mitre 10 Cup with two straight losses and needs to get into the winning column sooner rather than later.
"It is hugely disappointing. Some of the stuff we did tonight was well below personal standards, individual standards and team standards," Herring said.
"There was a lot of individual tackles we didn't finish and where they went through the ruck. We want to have a policy of going round us but not going through us and they went through us at will.
"They got their heads up and got a sniff and we just folded and folded, which was really disappointing."
He said when Otago got its attack going it looked really good.
"I thought the attack worked pretty well tonight, especially after five or six phases when it gets a bit loose. We did score some good tries and that was a positive."
He said the side struggled to get any momentum into its game.
"When we did get a semblance of it [momentum] we just knocked the ball on, spilt the pass or just got beaten at the breakdown."
He said Hawke's Bay offloaded very well and finished off well.
Former Otago No8 Gareth Evans had a big say in the match and carried the ball well.
Renton left the field early in the second half after taking a blow to the hand and was off to get it X-rayed after the game but there were fears it was broken.
Herring said to start the competition with two defeats was hard .
"It is a short competition so to start with two losses is not ideal especially when there are a couple of other teams in your pool who have started 2-0. That makes it tough.
"We are at a point now where the buck sort of stops here."