A makeshift Hemel Stags side suffered a thumping 46-0 defeat against Gloucestershire All Golds in their first pre-season friendly match of the year.
It was an unfamiliar Stags side containing several trialists that turned out against a very experienced All Golds team.
A 10-try haul saw the All Golds win the game at a canter and, if they had a better kicker, the score could have been a lot higher – with only three kicks out of 10 hitting the mark.
Hemel fought gamely and when they did get on the front foot looked impressive, but they were restricted in the amount of possession a strong All Golds side gave them.
Hemel coach Troy Perkins, who fielded a squad of 26 players, said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t do a bit better but, to be fair, 21 of the guys playing today have never played in a Hemel shirt before.
“The second half saw us compete well for long periods, but credit to Gloucester, they are a good side and a big side.”
The All Golds ran in four tries in the first 20 minutes, all of them on the left hand side of the field, with the Hemel defence on that side looking particularly vulnerable.
Jamie Murphy’s try on 20 minutes was the pick of the scores as the All Golds switched play from the far right to the far left with some good accurate passing on show.
Hemel came back into the game for a while and pressed well, but they lost Ollie Toms to injury, which fortunately turned out to be less serious than first thought.
Jonny Leather got on the score sheet around the half hour mark, again on the left, before Hemel fought back and were unlucky to be held up over the line before forcing a drop out in successive sets.
The second half was much more even in terms of possession, with both sides getting over the line but not managing to ground the ball.
However, another five tries followed the home team at regular intervals in the half.
That does not present a true picture, though, as Hemel had their moments between the scores but were denied by stout home defence and their own errors.
Both coaches will have taken something out of the game and saw their squads come out relatively injury free.
Hemel Stags: Josh Spearing, Jack Field, Harrison Brough, Ben Wauld, Fraser Majoribanks, Ben Stead, Chad Isles, Luke Paterson, Andy Kay, Andy Parrot, Kyal Green, Ollie Toms, Dave O’Connor, Victor Coker, Tyler Hurst, Adam Booth, Barry John Swindells, Reece Rance, Matt Ross, Joe Morgan, Paul Stewart-Beckett, Joe Hales, Mitchelle Stephenson, Liam O’Callaghan, Tom Sadler, Jon Kirby.