Shaw Cross Sharks slumped to a disappointing 32-12 defeat away to Eastmoor Dragons last Friday evening.
It was the Sharks’ final pre-season game before their National Conference League opener away to Underbank Rangers on the March 11.
Head coach Brett Turner was frustrated with his side’s performance but is confident that his team will be adequately prepared once the season gets underway in just over a week’s time.
He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. I thought we were absolutely terrible, I’ve never known us to play well on an evening but that’s no excuse.
“As soon as things were going against us we started moaning and looking for excuses, but that is never going to get you anywhere.
“We need to learn to cope when people are out with injuries, we lack experience but the players are only going to get better by playing.
“I’m happy that what we’ve got will do well for us this year.”
Brandan French opened the Sharks’ account as he scored in the right-hand corner.
Eastmoor responded with a score of their own before French was on hand again to put Nathan Wright over in the same spot.
Eastmoor scored back-to-back tries at the beginning of the second half to take the lead, but Nathan Smith put Shaw Cross back in the game as he stepped the tackler and dived over the line to score.
An error-strewn second half started to frustrate the visitors as Eastmoor furthered their advantage with three unanswered tries, the pick of them coming minutes before the end as a looping pass found the right winger, who gathered well to score.
The Sharks’ next game will be away to Huddersfield-based Underbank Rangers, who they played twice last year, winning one and losing the other.
There will be a bus running from the club to Underbank – anyone who wishes to get a seat should contact club secretary Benny Richardson on 07803 347721.