Toulon rolled Glasgow Warriors over and tickled their soft underbelly on Friday night, and beaten centre Huw Jones admitted that he and his team could not really put their finger on why they saved their worst performance of the season to last.

“We are massively disappointed,” said Jones after his side’s 43-19 Challenge Cup final defeat to Toulon at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. “We were not good enough. We made way too many errors. We got into their half quite a few times and did not take our chances, which is really frustrating because our conversion rate has been pretty good this season.

“We’ll have to watch the game back to see what went wrong but I don’t think it was anything to do with it being a big occasion. I just think it was one of those days when it didn’t go right.”

Maybe the coaching team and squad were being more honest with themselves behind the closed changing-room door, but the public suggestion that it was “just one of those day” is as worrying as the failures in performance witnessed on the park.

It was not that Jones was trying to duck responsibility – as an individual and as part of the collective – for what went wrong. But it would have been encouraging to hear him admit that the pressure of the occasion had got to the squad, or that Toulon’s intensity and accuracy had caught Warriors on the hop, or that head coach Franco Smith had made a rare selectorial misstep by not picking his best line-out operator in Richie Gray (which directly led to the team’s set-piece crumbling in front of our eyes).

As it is, we have not been re-assured that any important lessons have been taken on board, and there is every reason to fear that the long track record of Scottish pro teams failing to consistently deliver when it really matters is set to carry on indefinitely.

“There was nothing wrong with our preparation and we are not bad players – we have plenty of experienced in the squad – but mistakes at this level are costly,” Jones added. “If you are not getting things right, if you are coughing up the ball in your half, a good team like Toulon is going to make you pay for that and we paid the price.”

Warriors were so slow out the blocks that they found themselves 21-0 down inside 24 minutes after coughing up three soft tries. And while they managed to cross the whitewash themselves three times in the second half – twice through skipper Kyle Steyn and once through fellow winger Sebastian Cancelliere – they did not ever look like getting within touching distance of their dominant French opponents. In the end, the scoreline flattered the Scottish team.

Toulon’s dominant performance was all the more impressive when you consider that they lost four influential backs before half time. The way they refused to be knocked off their stride should serve as an object lesson in how to cope with adversity for a Warriors team who became more and more frazzled and erratic as the game wore on.

“It should have been tighter – those three tries at the beginning were really easy for them,” Jones said. “We got back into the game in the second part of the second half, we were in their half and we played some good rugby, but each time we got close or had a chance we made a mistake. Sometimes it was a bad pass, sometimes a dropped ball, sometimes we gave away a penalty – we kept on finding different ways to make life hard for ourselves. You name it, we did it today and it was really frustrating.

“In a final, you have to be switched on – you have to be perfect. We were pretty sloppy and you can’t do that against any team, in any game.”

With Warriors having also lost their URC play-off quarter-final at home to Munster a fortnight ago, a promising first season under head coach Smith has ended in deep disappointment.

They can take some comfort from having qualified for next season’s Champions Cup – the top tier of European competition – but they had hoped to pick up their first piece of meaningful silverware since winning the old Pro12 in 2015.

At least Jones and his fellow Scotland squad members on the Warriors payroll will not have to endure a long summer stewing over what went wrong. They will be back in training in two weeks to start preparing for this Autumn’s World Cup.

“The rest of the squad will be in training in a week’s time, while we will be given a break until 5th June,” Jones said. “It is a quick turnaround, and I don’t think we will be over it by then, but it will be good to get back to work and knuckle down for a summer of training.”