ARKS Rugby Union Club battled to an 18-10 loss to an undefeated Southern Lions team in their Championship clash at Harrisdale Field.
Despite once again missing key players to injury, ARKS put up a brave fight against the league leaders and were level at half time, but were kept scoreless in the second half.
The result saw them slip to sixth on the ladder, now a full three games from a finals spot.
With Storme Takuta and Corey Broughton returning at scrum half and fly half for ARKS, they retained possession well and gained more territory in the first half.
Takuta’s converted try and Broughton’s penalty gave them the lead, only for two Dean Kingi tries to tie it up at the half.
ARKS started the second half with hopes of an upset and they controlled much of the play, but were unable to score with handling errors in scoring positions spoiling the good work.
Southern Lions had to work hard for their points and only a late Gregory Jackson try and a penalty saw them over the line, with ARKS falling to defeat despite a heroic effort.
Earlier, ARKS’ B Grade side fell 36-19 to Southern Lions, despite leading at half time.
The wet weather saw handling errors allow the Lions’ two tries on the counter attack in what was otherwise a strong half for the hosts.
However, they switched off in the opening 15 minutes of the second half and the visitors scored three tries from loose play.
Despite a renewed effort from ARKS, it was not enough and they were left to rue what could have been.