NATIONAL ONE: Launceston 24 Pertemps Bees 15
Defeat by the resurgent All Blacks sent Pertemps Bees to the bottom of the National One table with it all to do to avoid relegation.
They didn't even have the satisfaction of leaving Cornwall with a loser's bonus point, so the journey home up the M5 was a long one.
They knew that the Cornish club had been showing strong signs of a real revival, unbeaten in 2008 and with the league scalps of both Rotherham and Plymouth Albion under their belts this year.
Nevertheless, Bees had beaten the new boys to the league pretty handsomely by 32-8 in October and must have felt that the worst scenario on Saturday would be a scraped win, but a win.
They got a bit of a shock. The All Blacks revival seemed not to be a flash in the pan. Omens were not good for the visitors from the start with the Cornish 10 points up in as many minutes, full back Jon Fabian landing a penalty when Bees hooker Stuart Pearl lost it in a maul, and then pacey wing Matt Jess, released by Fabian, blitzed 30 metres to score for Fabian to convert.
Yet all the time, Bees still managed to produce an awesome forward display, flanker Gareth McCoomb a tower in the line-outs and No 8 Will Matthews leading some ferocious drives only stemmed by some in-your-face tackling.
The sheer pace of Bees' play had to be rewarded and was: right wing Marika Vecacegu - the fastest man on the field - shot away, chipped long and outran the defender to score in the corner.
The conversion failed but Bees seemed to be getting into high gear, McCoomb and lock Mark Gabey punching off the fringes and centres Dave Knight and Alex Grove constantly threatening to burst through with their pace and direct running.
Matthews and Knight combined to launch wing James Aston who came within a whisker of scoring, then prop Pete Bucknall was almost over as the home line suffered a battering. But it held out and when Bees lock Alex Davidson was sin-binned for coming in at the side, the pressure on the Cornishmen was relieved.
Fabian missed with a penalty shot but made amends as he kicked brilliantly to clear his 22 when Bees threatened and the All Blacks held their lead until the interval.
From the restart, Vecacegu almost made the line before the All Blacks, who had taken their chances very well, hit back again, stealing a Bees line-out and then exploiting a ragged midfield; centre Steve Perry linked with Jess and the wing swerved and veered 20 metres round to the posts for Fabian to add the extras.
At 17-5, there was a feeling that the All Blacks were almost out of sight but the Bees pack again reasserted itself with some daunting drives to the line. Fly half Jon Higgins was given good ball to kick the perfect diagonal for Knight to catch and score in the corner.
Scrum half Paul Knight's conversion was miscued and the All Blacks again surprised their visitors, countering from the Bees' 10-metre line, scrum half Sam Alford releasing fly half Scott Ireland to slice through to the line untouched for Fabian to convert.
Bees again rallied and Dave Knight, by now on the wing, almost made it to the flag but found the supporting full back, Reece Spee, on his shoulder to score.
Again the conversion drifted wide and despite furious forward assaults close to the All Blacks line throughout the last quarter, the visitors were unable to narrow the gap on the scoreboard.
LAUNCESTON: Fabian; Jess, Perry, Westren (Fisher, 62), Dibble; Ireland, Alford; Brooking (Liddington, 57), Clark, Reed; Pape (Hocking, 55), Skelding; Lord (capt), Roques, Myerscough (Sims, 75). Replacements: Bolt, Rawlings, Smales. PERTEMPS BEES: Spee; Vecacegu, Grove, D Knight, Aston (Maggs, 40); Higgins, P Knight (Griffiths, 77); Long (capt), Pearl, Bucknall (Reddelinghuys, 32); Davidson, Gabey; McCoomb, Daish (Preece, 80), Matthews. Replacements not used: Bick, Ukazuwaka, Mitchell.
Referee: Martin Fox (RFU).