The New Zealanders were outplayed for most of the match in Melbourne and despite rallying late to score through Tim Brown and coming close in the final stages, Herbert was disappointed with the performance.
“I think we were just poor really," Herbert said.
"It was a tough night for us and at the end of the day we weren't good enough."
Herbert avoided using fatigue from playing three matches in a week as an excuse.
“Other clubs would want to make it a factor but we're not. I think people have got to step up,” he added.
“You know what the competition's about and you've got to deal with it. We finished strongly but why we couldn't start strongly, I don't know.
"Decisions were slow, reactions were slow and we didn't get enough people into the game early on.”
The loss kept the Phoenix in sixth position on the table but Herbert is well aware that will change if they di not pick up their act against the North Queensland Fury at home this Friday.
"For me it's going to be an interesting week," he added further.
"That's what we'll be concentrating on this week, seeing the people that want to step out at Westpac next week and make a difference.”