Now Brunel has challenged them to bounce back ahead of the World Cup in 2015 as a crucial 18 months lie in wait.
"It will be difficult to retain anything positive from our tournament," said Brunel.
"We're well behind in terms of what our goals were. We have gone backwards in terms of our objectives and also in terms of what we achieved last year.
"Over the past months, factors have conspired to make us less of a threat than usual.
"Now, the most important thing is for the team to know which direction it wants to go in."