Worcester Valkyries were beaten at the Northern Echo Arena despite a promising first-half display against Darlington Mowden Park Sharks on Saturday in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
Valkyries found themselves just 10-5 behind at the halfway stage after a Nikita Frere debut try but missed several opportunities to gain the advantage.
And they were punished in the second period as Darlington ran away with the contest with five tries to secure a 39-5 win.
Elle Bloor got the game’s opening score after some powerful carrying but Valkyries hit back when debutant Hannah Bluck’s strong run allowed Frere to show her footwork and pace to score.
But the hosts regained the upper hand after Claudia Macdonald went over.
Sharks came out of the blocks quicker in the second-half, helped by some enforced disruption to the Valkyries backline, and claimed two quick scores through Rachael Woosey and a second for Bloor.
Again Valkyries found some rhythm and maintained field position but a combination of inexperience and poor decision-making meant they were unable to make any real impact on the Darlington line.
As the game wore on, the hosts notched a couple of breakaway scores to put some gloss on the scoreline as Katy Mclean, Mackenzie Thomas and former Warriors Community Coach Tamara Taylor touched down.
Valkyries Director of Rugby Roy Davies said: “The final scoreline is disappointing when we were competitive in the game for so long. We just weren’t able to be clinical enough when it mattered and injuries and unavailability are testing our squad depth.
“But there were some excellent individual performances, particularly Charlie Wilcock and Vicky Laflin, while debutants Hannah Bluck and Nikita Frere showed some real promise.
“We had a pretty emotional dressing room afterwards which confirms that we have a group of players who really care and want to get things right and we are all working hard to do that.”
Valkyries | 15 Victoria Laflin, 14 Lia Gingell, 13 Megan Varley, 12 Hannah Bluck (Herring 40), 11 Nikita Frere, 10 Beth James, 9 Sam Parker (Codd 73); 1 Carmen Tremelling (Phillips 53), 2 Lark Davies (C), 3 Nat English (Leatherland 67), 4 Helena Bunce, 5 Charlotte Browning (Troughton 73), 6 Ruth Black, 7 Charlie Wilcock, 8 Cara Brincat (Roslund 73)
Replacements | 16 Katie Phillips, 17 Lauren Leatherland, 18 Maddie Roslund, 19 Ginny Troughton, 20 Emily Codd, 21 Rebecca Herring
07m | Bloor try 5-0
31m | Frere try 5-5
37m | Macdonald try 10-5
44m | Woosey try 15-5
44m | Mclean con 17-5
46m | Bloor try 22-5
66m | Mclean try 27-5
67m | Mclean con 29-5
74m | Thomas try 34-5
79m | Taylor try 39-5