Penrith Rugby Club will be extremely disappointed with their 36-26 defeat at fellow strugglers Burnage.

They knew a win would lift them out of the relegation scramble but they are now right back in it.

Although in seventh place, and in the top-half of the league, they are only three points above the third relegation zone and one of half-a-dozen sides that could well go down with Anselmians and De La Salle.

It will be all the more galling for them as they had ample opportunities to win this latest game.

Penrith made the worst possible start and, after 43 seconds, they gave away a penalty that allowed Burnage to kick for position into the Penrith 22.

Then, after two minutes and five seconds, they were under their own posts, having conceded the first try far too easily.

Penrith did get themselves into the game, playing and attacking with some purpose.

Centres Ross Jackson and Jay Rossi made inroads but it was captain Ed Swale, taking a quick-tap penalty and getting into the home 22 that set-up the position for their first score. He was taken out by a high tackle and Penrith opted for a scrum five metres out.

Penrith had the slight upper-hand at the set and this allowed Mike Raine to break blind from N.o8. He had scrum-half George Graham on his shoulder and he was unstoppable from close range. Nathan Wooff’s conversion levelled the scores.

Penrith were in charge at this stage and the home side were conceding quite a number of penalties.

One was kicked to the corner and the Cumbrians’ line-out was functioning well so the ball was won and, after the initial drive was halted, it was moved wide.

Wooff was involved twice before Raine took the ball deep into the 22. Ryan Lee charged almost to the line and Dan Richardson was on hand to snap the ball up and claim the try and the lead for his side.

Penrith looked to be bossing the game and in control but, immediately after taking the lead, they seemed to take their foot off the gas. They weren’t playing with the same intensity and let Burnage right back into the game.

In a 10-minute mad spell, they allowed Burnage to score three tries from long range and also kick a penalty.

From looking in charge, they were now trailing 29-12 and staring down the barrel.

The Cumbrians did lift their game just before the break and a sweeping attack saw Brad Taylor go over for a converted try but they were still looking at a 10-point deficit at half-time.

They started the second period on the front foot and, when the home side were penalised at their own scrum in their 22, Penrith opted for the scrummage. Raine broke from the base and made ground, while big drives from Adam Howe and Josh Dowson got them to the line where Richardson claimed his second try as he wrestled his way over.

They were now within three points and looked as if they would dominate the second half, as they had the week before against a strong Northwich side, and could be be able to eke out the win they needed.

But Penrith gifted a try to the home side almost immediately to see them regain a 10-point advantage. A flagging Burnage side’s spirits were once more lifted as they raised their game in the final quarter.

Penrith did their best to save the game and battered the home line but Burnage defended for all they were worth. They almost scored a breakaway try from their own 22 but, in the main, it was the visitors who were carving out the chances.

A nailed-on scoring pass went to ground in the corner and they had the ball over the line on one occasion but lost control of it as they strived to get something from the game to no avail.

They had managed a four-try bonus point but couldn’t get the odd score at the end that would have given them a losing bonus-point.

So, they are left with work to do in the final two weeks of the league season.