Luton RFC went down to a 31-13 defeat at home to sixth placed CS Rugby 1863 in their London One North fixture on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead early on in the second minute, after a Luton player was caught offside inside the 22, allowing Tom Hodgson to score an easy penalty.
Just four minutes later, CS Rugby extended their lead after they got the ball out wide to Will Scott who evaded a few Luton tacklers before getting over to make it 10-0 once Hodgson had kicked the extras.
Stuart Tomkinson was sin-binned after kicking out in the 16th minute, which opened the game up a little bit and led to both teams scoring a penalty through Hodgson and Rik Hobbs, to make it 13-3.
On the half hour mark, Hobbs notched another penalty to bring the Newlands team within seven points of the visitors and it stayed that way until the break.
Luton came out in the second half looking dangerous, pinning CS inside their 22 and piling on the pressure, but crucially, were kept at bay by the visitors.
In the 47th minute, CS Rugby scored another penalty after a Luton player was caught offside, then three minutes later, Adam Harris was sin binned for an infringement in a ruck just under the posts, which gave Hodgson another easy penalty to make it 19-6.
Despite these two penalties, Luton were still the better side and in the 52nd minute, Christopher Davies turned over possession in CS’ 22 and offloaded to Robert Povey who crossed the line with Hobbs kicking the extras.
The hosts were now just six points behind their opponents, but completely against the run of play, Rugby’s Hogg managed to score a try in the 55th minute, putting the score just out of reach for Luton at 26-13.
This did not mean that the hosts gave in though, as they kept pressuring the opposition and looked likely to score another try, which they nearly did after the ball found its way out wide to Tyler Chant in a great position, although he was unable to take the try scoring pass.
The final chance of the match came from the away side in the 70th minute after setting up a catch and drive inside Luton’s 22 and Josh Forrester grounded the ball.
Luton second row Jonathan Kerr believes silly mistakes cost them the game as he said: “We played well, it was a close game in terms of performance and we worked really hard but unfortunately they had the better spells.
“We gave away a lot of silly penalties in silly places which gave them a comfortable lead in the end.
“It’s unfortunate we’re moving down a league but if we keep the core team, we can go from strength to strength.”
Luton visit Harrow this weekend.