South Africa 'A' coach, Shukri Conrad admitted that losing to Sussex the way they did was a wake-up call ahead of their big tour-ending match against the England Lions starting in midweek.
The visitors were bowled out for scores of 185 and then 223 in their follow-on innings in Arundel as they slumped to an innings and 50-run defeat on Friday.
It was the second of two first-class, warm-up matches on the trip, which now culminates with a one-off, four-day encounter against their English counterparts from June 21 to 24.
"The clash against Sussex didn't go as planned," a disappointed Conrad said.
"Obviously it was not a great result and that goes without saying because it's never enjoyable to lose and especially in the manner in which we did. Hopefully it serves as a real wake-up call."
South Africa 'A' went into the game high on confidence after beating Hampshire in their first four-day outing in Southampton, but they folded against Sussex, losing inside three days.
The spin bowling duo of Will Beer and Abidine Sakande claimed 13 of the 14 final day wickets between them, with the former ending the game with 11 for 91.
"There were some really soft dismissals, but we almost backed off a little bit," Conrad explained.
"As well as they bowled, both Sakande and Beer, I didn't think we played particularly well, so come Wednesday, we've really got to make sure everybody is up for the game."
The South Africans have already lost the one-day leg of the trip 2-0 to the Lions.
Conrad believes that the entire trip was nonetheless a learning experience for his charges.
"It's all part of preparing for our game against the Lions," he added. "It's all about getting guys into form, some have done so already and others haven't unfortunately.
"It's important we shake off what's gone before in this tour and look to finish the trip properly. But I'm really positive despite the result against Sussex. I'm pleased how some of the guys have gone about their business, it really has been about giving everyone opportunities before the four-day match against the Lions.
"We've got two days to prepare on Monday and on Tuesday and then we on to that match. So we're looking forward to it and everyone is determined to do better."
South Africa 'A' squad for four-day series against England Lions:
Heino Kuhn (Titans), Aiden Markram - captain (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Temba Bavuma (Highveld Lions), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins), Jason Smith (Cape Cobras), Heinrich Klaasen - wk (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (Knights), Dane Piedt (Cape Cobras), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Junior Dala (Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Highveld Lions).
South Africa 'A' tour to UK itinerary
June 21-24 - 'A; Test v Lions at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury