Scotland captain Danny Brough admitted his team did not turn up after they were humbled 50-4 by Tonga in the Rugby League World Cup.
The Bravehearts, led once again by Giants mainstay Brough, went into their group stage opener in Cairns ranked fourth in the world following an impressive 2016 Four Nations campaign.
But, with only nine survivors from last year’s draw with New Zealand, Scotland were blown away by a powerful Tonga team in a one-sided first half.
Coach Steve McCormack’s side kept the Pacific heavyweights scoreless for much of the second half and went over for their only try through Danny Addy, only for Tonga to cross twice late on to underline their superiority.
Brough, who broke Scotland’s appearance record after winning his 24th cap, said: “It was tough but they didn’t do anything the coaches didn’t preview.
“They came down the middle with strong and powerful running. In the World Cup you can’t give a team as much respect as we did.
“We know they are great players individually and they proved it collectively.
“But I don’t think we showed up and proved how good we are, and that’s the most disappointing thing.
“We will be better next week. I don’t think we can be much worse than that.”
Huddersfield Giants forward Dale Ferguson also featured for the Scots in Cairns.
“We were nowhere near good enough,” Scotland boss McCormack told a press conference.
“There’s some damaged pride. But we’ll lick our wounds, patch ourselves up and get ready to go next week.
“I’ve got a fantastic bunch of players who are full of resilience and I can’t wait for next week.
“We’re excited about going to Christchurch and playing New Zealand. I wish it was tomorrow, although I’m sure the players don’t!”
Tonga, who did not include Giants forward Ukuma Ta’ai, produced a performance that underlined their status as tournament dark horses.
Asked if Tonga could win the World Cup, coach Kristian Woolf responded: “It’s a difficult question.
“Scotland are not going to be a real challenger in the World Cup judging by this performance, to be realistic.
“But the level goes up next week (against Samoa) and we will find out about ourselves then.”