It’s certainly been a baptism of fire for Peterborough Lions as they try their luck for the first time at Level Four.
They’ve come unstuck in both their National League Two games so far - both home fixtures - and are propping up the division without a point to their name.
The two sides to beat them - Wharfedale and Hinckley - are first and second in the table and it doesn’t get any easier for the boys from Bretton this weekend.
Next up on Saturday is a trip to the third-placed team Hull Ionians.
The latest loss - 48-21 to Hinckley - wasn’t actually as bad as the scoreline might suggest. In fact, for the first half the city side were more than a match for a Leicestershire outfit tipped by many to land the title, and they actually turned round with a 21-17 advantage.
But 10 minutes into the second half and all the good work was undone during what chairman Andy Moore described as ‘a moment of madness’.
That moment was when hooker Jack Askham got sin-binned and number eight Aki Lea and fly-half Ben Young got injured. The Lions took too long to sort themselves out and while they were busy regrouping Hinckley snatched three quick tries to kill the Lions threat.
Moore said: “They scored three quick tries while we were in disarray. This is National League Two - if you’re in disarray sides punish you. We’re learning the hard way and it could be a long season.
“But at least we started better than the previous week and scored three cracking tries. I was just disappointed not to get a fourth. I thought we deserved a bonus point on the strength of our first-half showing.”
Winger Kaz Henderson scored the first Lions try, Argentinian scrum-half Franco Perticaro scored the second after a scything break by Young, and back row Jake Carter raced in from 50 yards out to score the third.
Lions: J. Waller, J. Askham, D. Reilly, M. Andrijauskas, W. Nankevil, T. Lewis, A. Lea, C. Gracey, F. Perticaro, B. Young, K. Henderson, N. Defeo, S. Ma’asi, A. Hill, S. Meyers. Subs: C. Cutts, C. Edbrooke, T. Dougherty, J. Carter, J. Lewis.
For Saturday’s daunting trip to Hull, who were relegated from National League One last season, the Lions could be without Lea, Young, Henderson and prop Dan Reilly, who are all nursing knocks.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15
National League Division Two North: Hull Ionians v Peterborough Lions.
Midlands Division One East: Old Northamptonians v Peterborough, Paviors v Oundle.
Midlands Division Two East (South): Huntingdon v St Ives.
Midlands Division Three East (South): Bourne v Stamford.
Midlands Division Three East (North): Belper v Spalding.
Midlands Division Four East (South): Deepings v Thorney, Kempston v Stamford College Old Boys
London Division Three Eastern Counties: Wisbech v Holt.