COACH Scott Coleman will go back to the drawing board this week in search of a way to kick-start the Hunter Wildfires' Shute Shield campaign.
The Wildfires suffered a fourth straight loss, going down 38-8 to Ramdwick at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday.
Again, they competed with the Galloping Greens for large periods but paid the price for errors at crucial times - missed tackles, lost lineouts, knock-ons, poor kicks, slow reactions.
"We can see that we can mix it with the best but we are not competing for 80 minutes," Coleman said. "I'm at a bit of a loss. It is simple errors, and it's not the same error all the time, different people, different things.
"Combinations and a lack of continuity are problems we have not overcome.
"Some of these guys are experienced and some guys have played at a high level. It's not an excuse we can have any more. We have to have look at ourselves in the mirror and own it.
"We have been given the chance at this level, we have to take it."
Next are Penrith, who went down 50-0 to Sydney University on Saturday after recording their first win the previous round.
"It's crunch time," Coleman said. "We just need to be patient with the ball. When we hold it for six phases no-one can defend us, but we are not doing it."
Nate De Thierry put the Wildfires ahead with a penalty in the third minute.
However, Randwick capitalised on two errors - a missed one-on-one tackle and a slow defensive reaction from a scrum - to cross twice for a 14-3 advantage.
The Wildfires hit back when fulllback Jayden Wright sold a show and go and then threw a cut-out pass for winger Willian Lewisi to cross out wide. De Thierry's conversion attempt bounced back off the post for 14-8.
Randwick took advantage of a lineout win against the throw and a few phases later Jackson Mohi off-loaded on the inside for opposite winger Christian Yassmin.
Then fly-half Ben Starkey latched onto an intercept and raced 45 metres for 28-8 at the break.
Wildfires centre William Feeney, who was dangerous, looked set to cut the gap 10 minutes after the break when, with line beckoning, he had the ball knocked out from behind.
Any chance of a Wildfires revival was quashed when Randwick replacement hooker Valance Yates spun out of a tackle and crossed.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Kate Gilbert believes Newcastle University are well placed for an assault in the final round of the AON women's seven series.
Newcastle finished round one of the national final in fourth place after losing to UTS 17-7 in the play-off for bronze on Sunday.
Australian representatives won't be available for the second round to be held on the Gold Coast in a fortnight.
"That really benefits us," Gilbert said. "We learnt a lot from the games this weekend. We had some debutants - Jorja Holden, Sharni Waters, Emily Freeman and Miki Trbojevich - who really stepped up. Kaitlin Leaney had to step up and be that main forward and she did."
Trudi Peterson was the other forward who jumped into the utility role and Jorja Holden had a couple of blinders as well."
Again Newcastle made a slow start to the tournament, going down to University of Queensland (29-10), Bond (22-14) and Griffiths (41-12) on day one.
They produced their best to beat Uni of Queensland 19-14 in the quarter-final before being out-gunned 38-7 by Sydney University in the semi-final.
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