Injuries and a lack of discipline contributed to a first round loss against the Orange Hawks in the Group 10 premier league competition at Lithgow on Saturday, April 13.
The Workies team rallied in the second half, but it was too little too late as the team slumped to a 24-10 loss.
"It's disappointing to lose your first home game of the year," Workies coach Graeme Osborne said following the match.
"We stuck in there, we didn't run from the task, but the scoreline 24-10 probably flattered us a little bit."
Hawks coach Willie Heta said it was exactly the start his team needed ahead of a five week run of matches away from home.
"I think every coach is happy when they walk away with two points, especially coming up here to Lithgow," he said.
"We knew it was going to be tough and it was just that."
Heta said he went into the game confident of the team's ability to get the job done.
"We've had a good preseason and that showed today. We had to defend well and that expends a lot of energy," he said.
"I have to give raps to our whole forward pack. They led from the front and that always makes my job and our halfbacks' jobs a lot easier. And our backs were dominating out wide."
The Hawks were the early leaders, racking up two converted tries to take a 12-nil lead into the break.
The start of the second half brought more bad news for the Workies. The Hawks crossed early and an exceptional kick from the sideline against the breeze took the Hawks to 18-nil.
The Hawks had extended the margin to 24-nil when Workies backrower and Western Rams rep Tui Oloapu was sent off for 10. His absence seemed to be the spark the Workies needed, with Nick Bender setting off from the far end of the field for a well-deserved individual try.
With 17 minutes to go in the game, an intercept close to the line gave the Workies another opportunity and Jack Sullivan crossed, giving Josh Howarth a clear shot over the bars to bring the score to 24-10.
"We didn't play real good footy, there were a lot of discipline errors, penalties - Hawks deserved to win," Osborne said.
The Lithgow Workies Wolves leadership team will be taking stock of its losses on Tuesday, as preseason and early injuries mount.
"We've got three blokes out injured at the moment, two with broken hands through the preseason. Cody Godden broke his hand before the Western Rams campaign this year so he's been out. We lost our big front-rower in the knock-out last week, Lachie Piper. Zac Jones is out as well, so the turnaround from the knockout last week with three injuries, it's a bit hard to back up the week after and play again," Osborne said.
Tui Oloapu's availability could also be in question, after he came off with an ankle injury.
"It's a matter of building combinations. Both our halves are new to the side, Jack Sullivan's new to the side, big Tui's new to the side, so we've got probably six new faces," Osborne said.
The Workies next face a tough challenge at Bathurst on Good Friday against St Pat's.
The Hawks head to Cowra for round two.
"We've just got to take it one game at a time, which is what we've done here today and fix those little niggling injuries," Heta said.
"We know Cowra's going to be a tough one - their confidence should be sky-high. We'll have our hands full going over there."
ORANGE HAWKS 24 (Jordan Baker 2, Matt Boss 1, Ethan McKellar 1) def LITHGOW WORKIES WOLVES 10 (Nick Bender 1, Jack Sullivan 1).
First Division: LITHGOW WORKIES WOLVES (Lleyton Lothian, Eli Felton, Nick Miller) 18 def ORANGE HAWKS 8 (Glen Maxwell, Will Christopherson).
League tag: ORANGE HAWKS 18 (Jess Pearson, Taneisha Burns, Cheynoan Merchant, Emily McDonald) def LITHGOW WORKIES WOLVES 14 (Kim Northey, Kayla Nugent, Kristy Willmott).
Under 18's: ORANGE HAWKS 36 (Angus Wilson 2, David Jones, Reece Sweeting 3, Sam McDonald) def LITHGOW WORKIES WOLVES 6 (Luke Brown).
Under 18's league tag: ORANGE HAWKS 62 (Emily Irwin 3, Taneisha Burns 3, Jess Pearson 2, Tori Wood, Caitlin Prestwidge, Hailey Prestwidge, Savannah Moore) def LITHGOW WORKIES WOLVES 0.