Lithgow Workies went down to Cowra Magpies 24-10 at Tony Luchetti Oval on Saturday, July 15.
Coach Chris Rhodes struggled to find positives from the match, in which disciplinary issues resulted in the team playing with just 11 men for part of the game.
"We didn't complete many sets on the back end of a terrible penalty count," he said.
"Especially against a team like Cowra, if you keep giving them the ball, they'll just keep coming.
"We knew they were going to show up after their game last week, they had something to prove."
Rhodes said he was happy with his team's defence, given they were down to 11 men at one stage.
"We stuck in for each other, did all the dirty work, we just didn't get the good ball when we needed it. Didn't capitalise on their mistakes."
It was a different story in first division and league tag, which saw decisive victories for the Workies.
League tag team captain Tiffany Willmott was excited to have the team secure fifth spot on the ladder with a 20-8 win over the Cowra Magpies.
Co-captain Chrissie West claimed two tries in the win and kicked two goals, while Shannon Legge and Hanna Healey scored one each. Cowra's tries were scored by Casey Smith and Jessica Burling.
The Magpies spent plenty of time in the Workies' half in the second stanza, but could not push over.
"It was a crucial win to get us in that top five," Willmott said.
A timely intercept by Roxanne Van Veen and the kicking games of Chrissie West and Tiana Anderson were instrumental in getting the team over the line.
The side plays the Orange Hawks next week, and Willmott said she expected it to be a tough encounter.
"We will be hoping to start the way we did today," she said.
"We have high hopes of coming into the semis as the underdog."
In first division, Cowra was under immediate pressure from the Workies' attack.
Liam Walsh opened the scoring after 10 minutes in a game that saw Workies easily rack up points.
Cowra's frustration was obvious and the game erupted shortly after Magpies player Tyrone Eastwood scored his team's only try. Cowra was left a man down under the no-punch rule.
The Magpies lost another early in the second half and the Workies made the most of the extra bodies to pile on the points.
Workies' tries were scored by Liam Walsh (2), Jack Kable, Greg Alderson, Josh Jones (one try and two conversions), Steve Hughes, Nick Millar (one try and one conversion), Joe Noon and Mick Rennie.
In premier league, Workies were desperate for points to lift the side to equal fifth on the competition ladder.
Cowra took the lead midway through the first half and never relinquished it. The Magpies’ second try came just two minutes later. Jack Nobes and Warren Williams scored first half tries for Cowra, with Cal Mok successfully converting one and slotting a penalty kick.
Discipline was a problem for the Lithgow side, with Workies player Ben Picman sent off and captain Jonothan Van Veen sin-binned. Cowra's Ron Lawrance was also sent for 10.
Cowra took the opportunity to add more points, taking the score to 20-6.
Greg Alderson scored a strong individual try after stealing the ball close to the line. Harry Bender was successfully with his conversion attempt.
Cowra scored twice in the closing stages of the game, Cal Mok (converted by Cam Bruest) and Zac Browne both crossing for four pointers.
Workies scored a second through Brent Brogan, who crossed in the corner. The sideline conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
The final score was Cowra 24 to Workies 10.
Rhodes said the coming weeks would be tough for the Workies.
"It makes it a lot tougher, we've got to rely on other results now. It's more out of our hands than it is in our hands now," he said.
"We've just got to win our last four games and put ourselves in the best spot we can."