Agony enveloped the face of Napier Technical premier rugby side's head coach Steve Woods on Saturday.
"We're gone. We've got to start thinking about recruitment for next year and getting the enthusiasm levels up again ... we need more depth right through the club," Woods said after a 62-15 loss to Carters Frame and Truss Taradale at Whitmore Park in a seventh round Tui Maddison Trophy fixture ended the defending champions faint hopes of a semifinal finish.
"It was always going to be a tough ask today and then we had late withdrawals of Trent and Zane with injuries," he added, pointing to Magpies loosie Trent Boswell-Wakefield and prolific scoring outside back Zane Crook.
Nash Cup winners Taradale ran in 10 tries with in-form second five-eighth Billy Ropiha grabbing a hat-trick. Prop Jody Allen and captain and blindside flanker Andrew Gardner had huge workrates in the winning pack.
Second-placed Taradale's biggest work on this week is likely to be tidying up their presentation at the breakdown area. They conceded numerous turnovers when their presentation was poor and this could prove costly against stronger opponents like this weekend's third-placed Napier Old Boys Marist.
Tech Group of Companies Napier Technical's best were flanker Martin Taumata, No8 Hugh Reed and second five-eighth Ted Walters.
Pirate 59 MAC 17
Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports fullback Ted Symes celebrated his 50th and blazer game with a hat-trick in this Tamatea Park romp.
Centre Brynn Uriarau also ran in three tries as the fourth placed hosts and 2011 champions kept their semifinal hopes alive. Regular centre Matt Hill was unavailable and winger Uriarau displayed his versatility with a player-of-the-match display in the midfield.
Prop Conrad Rieter and No8 Aaron McPhee were the best of the Pirate forwards. MAC head coach Anthony Morley had every right to ask if there was a player faster than Uriarau in the Bay.
His captain and lock Everard Reid, a former Pirate, Hastings Boys' High School No8 Harlan Solomon and midfield backs Ihaka Waerea and Jaamin Pere had memorable moments.
"We had competitive patches particularly during the start of the second half when we scored the first 12 points before Pirates went up another gear and Brynn [Uriarau] ran riot," Morley said.
Hastings 47 Clive 3
Canada World Cup player and new Magpies tighthead prop Jason Marshall displayed some authority during 55 minutes of action as IMS Payroll Hastings Rugby and Sports dominated this Farndon Park encounter.
However, Hastings first five-eighth Neil Burns, who scored a try and kicked three penalties and four conversions, claimed player-of-the-match honours. Lock Ben Parsons had his best game of the season in the winning pack and centre-winger Timo Vaiusu was another to make co-coach Karl Jones' MVP list. Clive head coach Andy Green said his troops trailed 16-3 at halftime after a good first half but 10 minutes into the second half they allowed the likes of Hastings fullback James Rosenberg and midfield back Star Timu to run too much and the score blew out.
Green reckoned his troops could have got a better deal from referee Carl Jowsey.
Promising openside flanker Sione Taulave, centre-winger Tanielle Ofa and Aussie first five-eighth Kyle Beakey were Clive's best.
Havelock 40 Central 5
Progressive Meats Havelock North first five-eighth J'ndre Liebenberg took his season tally to 104 points with four conversions and a try in this Anderson Park clash.
Fullback Shannan Chase and winger Mikey Vuicakau were others to impress in the villagers backline. Busy No8-lock Richard Tichborne, prop Miles Anderson and flanker Isaiah Renata toiled effectively in the winning pack.
"This was one of our best performances of the season but the score doesn't reflect it ... Havelock's counter attacks were again dangerous," Northfuels Central manager Tony Lepelaars said.
"Considering the week we've had I was very impressed," Lepelaars added referring to the funeral for one of their players, Robbie Barr, last Tuesday.
The trio of No8 Nigel Walshe, blindside flanker Warwick Slingsby and lock Hugh Graham all made Lepelaars MVP list.
NOBM 55 Tamatea 7
Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist's performance at Bill Mathewson Park wasn't as polished as this score suggests.
"We were a bit disjointed and a bit too individualistic," NOBM manager Mike Smith said.
Flanker-lock Sean Skeet and lock Tom Bywater were the architects of the visiting pack's dominance.
Centre Asa Ene was the best of the NOBM backs.
Lock Toe Taliu and No8 Ivan Bellamy shone with their never-say-die approach in the Tamatea pack.