Horowhenua Kapiti put up a valiant effort against Wellington's Lions on Monday but was no match for their strength and size, with Lions winning the game 14-78.
The Levin Domain was packed out for the Queen's Birthday pre-season fixture.
Horowhenua Kapiti started off the match with a hiss and a roar, scoring the first try of the game.
However, they couldn't keep up with the Lions' stamina.
Horowhenua Kapiti coach Chris Wilton said that scoring 14 points against the Lions was a win for HK.
"I told the boys that there would be times where there is a must-win situation but this wasn't one."
"The Lions are a little bit faster and have bigger bodies than we're used to, however we were gutsy," he said.
"We only had five front runners and were short all over the park, so everyone that played the whole 80 minutes had to because of our many injuries and they did well."
With 15 players out to injury, Wilton said they still managed to have 24 at the game which reflected well on the health of the union, he said.
"Years ago if there were upwards of 15 injuries, we would have hardly filled a team."
Wilton said the game was another opportunity to build towards the campaign for the Meads Cup.
"We will review the video, and maybe someone will put their hand up today," he said.
Wellington Lions coach Chris Gibbes said Horowhenua Kapiti was physical - just what he was hoping.
"We didn't have it all on our terms, although the score didn't reflect that at halftime. We had been in a scrap, we just kept sticking at it," he said.
"For us having a lot of fitness paid off in the end."
Gibbes said that he believed the hits going on both sides were equal.
"We use this game to reward some of our club players and to see how guys play at a different level," he said.
"The game provided us with an excellent platform, and some guys took that opportunity."
Horowhenua Kapiti's next pre-season fixture is against Poverty Bay in Napier on August 4. The Heartland competition kicks off on August 25.
Last year Horowhenua Kapiti made it to the Meads Cup final, and plan to win it this year.
Entry to the game - a gold coin donation - raised $1503 for Waikanae player Tyrone Rerekura, who is being treated for a brain tumour.