The Central Vipers bowed out of the Albert Baskerville Cup national rugby league competition on Saturday when the Mid-Central side were walloped 70-4 by Auckland's Akarana Falcons at Tikorangi.
The Vipers battled well in the opening half to trail the Falcons 24-4 going to the halftime break. But the floodgates opened after the re-start and the Vipers were totally outplayed by a fitter and more skilful side.
Their only points scorer was centre and captain Peta Simmonds who crashed over the line early in the first half.
"They just ran out of gas in the second half," stand-in coach Alan Jackson said. "That's a problem, our fitness is not up to the mark for that level of football and you can put that down to the many changes we have had to make over the last three or four weeks."
Last weekend was the final qualifying round in the Baskerville Cup before the playoffs. The Mid-Central age group teams also struggled at Tikorangi, but proved more competitive than the premiers in their matchups against the Falcons. The 17s lost 54-24, while the 15s battled hard before going down 42-16.
Who will win the 2015 Rugby World Cup?