Boston Buccaneers conceded 43 unanswered points in the second half in a heavy 75-12 away defeat against Sherwood Wolf Hunt.
There was only two points between the two sides in the reverse fixture in May, but a depleted Boston side with just 16 players available endured a much tougher game this time against the league leaders.
Boston duo Jake Keeton and Jack Wright made great yards to put Wolf Hunt on the back foot in the early stages of the match.
Wolf Hunt scored the first try of the match against the run of play to take a 4-0 lead, but Boston soon responded.
Brad Nixon fed the ball to rampant forwards Glenn Allison and Harry Atkinson before full-back Scotty Stevenson ran a great line to score a try under the sticks. John Hummel slotted over the conversion to edge Boston ahead.
Boston increased their lead when man-of-the-match Jack Rules seized the initiative from the restart and ran 70 metres to score a superb individual try. Hummel added the extras.
Strong running saw Wolf Hunt grab their second try of the match to reduce the deficit to just four points.
Interchanges from the hosts proved to be the difference with fresh players carving holes in the tiring Buccaneers defence. This lead to several tries to give Wolf Hunt a 32-12 lead at the break.
Boston coach Jim Dearing made several changes at half-time including the introduction of forward trio Saulius Kaleda, Grant Laws and Matt Keeton.
The trio produced some punishing runs, but Boston were unable to break through a strong and well-organised Wolf Hunt defence.
Stevenson, Rules and Jake Keeton all performed well for Boston, but 43 second-half points from Wolf Hunt proved decisive and piled misery on to the travelling side.
Boston thought they had scored a late consolation try through Wright, but it was adjudged that there had been a double movement. Matt Keeton also saw a late try disallowed as Boston battled hard right up until the final whistle.
After the match coach Dearing said: “We came up against a strong Sherwood side who played some really good rugby and that reflected in the score.
“The effort was there from our players and I’m proud of them all. It’s a tough place to come to and we’ll put this behind us and start preparing for Derby at home in two weeks.”
Boston’s next match will see them host Derby City on Saturday, July 6. Boston will also get a chance to avenge the defeat against Sherwood Wolf Hunt when the two sides face of in the Midlands Rugby League Cup Final on July 13.