Queensland's horror two-week tour of South Africa and Argentina could easily dovetail into a full-blown Super Rugby crisis if they're not careful, stand-in skipper Stephen Moore admits.
The Reds take on defending champions the Hurricanes on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, still reeling from a fourth consecutive defeat when beaten by the Jaguares at the weekend.
The 22-8 loss capped off a nightmare fortnight abroad for the franchise, with captain James Slipper (Achilles) ruled out for the season, promising lock Izack Rodda (ankle) also felled by injury and five-eighth Quade Cooper slapped with a suspension that still has two more games to run.
All the pre-season momentum built up under new coach Nick Stiles seems a distant memory - and Moore knows it will drift even further away if they don't stand up to the Hurricanes.
"It's pretty important the group stays tight through this period," Moore told reporters on Friday.
"It's been very tough for us, probably starting with that Force game over in Perth that we were really disappointed.
"Then in the last few weeks we haven't got the result (either).
"We've just got to keep that belief in the group that we can go out and play well and stick to how we want to play."
Wallabies skipper Moore deliberately ruled himself out of the running for the Reds captaincy in the summer, but it found its way to him anyway as a consequence of Slipper's injury.
"I've just come in and tried to do the best I can for the team and probably use the other leaders in the team as well to drive the messages through the group and help everyone get better," Moore said.
The Reds came close to knocking off the Crusaders the last time they played at home but were beaten at the death through a last-minute penalty.
Since then, the record of Australian sides against New Zealand opposition has worsened to just three wins in the last 21 attempts.
There are four such clashes scheduled this weekend and the Reds have been lumped with the toughest of the lot against the Beauden Barrett-led Hurricanes.
"There's no secret - they're very good off turnovers," Moore said.
"The less turnovers you have have the better for us.
"I think that's been the biggest learning in the last month - when things haven't gone well it's often been off the back of our own errors, and that's something we can work on. That should give the players belief."