NEW EARSWICK All Blacks head coach Jack Stearman bemoaned conditions as his side were on the end of another defeat.
The White Rose Avenue outfit lost 16-6 at home to Queensbury in Pennine League Championship in an encounter where club chiefs did not feel the scoreline reflected a contest where they were always in the game.
Stearman explained: "It just wasn’t our day. These conditions really hamper our style of play as we can’t get a roll on and use our good speed and hands. I was pleased with the performance and the way in which the lads responded to comments made and reacted to conditions.
"They followed the game plan but sometimes you need someone looking down on you."
With heavy rain having fallen all morning, All Blacks suffered some cruel luck when, after finalising and submitting the team sheet, Adam Kirby was stricken again with a knee problem he picked up a week ago.
The deadlock was broken after five minutes when Queensbury scored on the far right side, although the missed conversion restricted their lead to 4-0.
They would add to their advantage shortly afterwards when a break saw them score to the right of the posts. This time the kick went through the uprights and the lead was ten points.
All Blacks would suffer more ill fortune as Luke Morton left the field with a dislocated shoulder and the home bench was left depleted.
The home side forced their way back into the game 15 minutes after the resumption when, leading from the front, Stearman took three Queensbury defenders over the line with him to touch down to the right of the posts.
Tom Holmes was on target with the conversion and New Earswick trailed 10-6.
They turned up the pressure as Queensbury's discipline momentarily faltered and Liam Gargan sent a number of testing kicks down the left hand side. None could be taken cleanly and, after consistent pressure and a number of sets, frustration began to show.
A brawl, which broke out in the visiting half, saw a 'Bury forward and Bobby Smith sent to the sin bin for ten minutes each.
Queensbury had the final say on the stroke of full-time when the All Blacks' tired defence finally broke. The conversion finished the scoring.
Although Stearman's men are third in the table, they have played more games than any of their rivals.
Selby Warriors also suffered a blow when they were beaten 26-10 by leaders Cutsyke Raiders in division two, a loss that leaves them six points adrift of their rivals. Sherburn Bears remain at the top of division four after they routed Wortley Dragons 74-10.