A scratch 15 showed plenty of heart and passion, but Gainsborough Maoris still succumbed to a heavy 55-8 defeat when they travelled to meet Market Rasen 3rd in a friendly.
Paul Hooton captained a Maoris side that welcomed back Llewi Downing, who had been out for a long time with injury, Kieran Padgett and Jack Senescall, and they also gave a debut to Josh Green.
But on a cool, breezy day at Willingham Road, they knew Market Rasen would break from the blocks quickly and they hit the Gainsborough side like a whirlwind in the first quarter, scoring four tries, although only two were converted.
Man-of-the match Ash Slawson led Maoris’ response as he ran 25 metres towards the try line before passing to Kyle Dean, who offloaded to Liam Flower on the overlap. Flower touched down for his team’s first and nonly try of the afternoon, with the conversion going marginally wide of the posts.
Rasen added to their try tally before half-time, which arrived with them holding a healthy 31-5 lead. And things got worse for Maoris as Padgett, who had been playing very well on his comeback, was injured in a tackle and had to be flown by air-ambulance to hospital. Fortunately, he was not as badly hurt as initially feared and should be fit again in two months.
In the second half, the home team continued where they had left off, running in four more tries, two of which were converted.
But at least Maoris got on the scoresheet again themselves as they earned a consolation penalty that was slotted through the uprights by Dean.