After a strong preseason our Premiers came back to earth with a thud, falling to Poneke by 21-25 in their first round match up.
Turnovers, unforced errors and two yellow cards summarises the first 60 minutes which saw them trail by 0-25.
With an injection of substitutions and a Poneke yellow card, the Red Machine started showing signs of life. Jack Taulapapa scored two tries in his 15 minute cameo off the bench, including one with two minutes to play narrowing the scoreline to four points.
Along with Taulapapa, young lock Tom Martin put his hand up for more minutes next week with a strong performance off the bench on his debut.
While the result was disappointing, the coaches will know what to work on at training this week. They will also have some thinking to do on key roles after injuries to James Proctor and Andrew Wells.
Our Premiers have the opportunity to bounce back next week against Johnsonville at Evans Bay Park.