Doncaster Phoenix are facing a battle to preserve their Midlands Premier Division status.
The Castle Park club went down 24-7 at Nuneaton on Saturday – their tenth defeat from 14 league games.
They are precariously positioned just one place and five points better off than bottom club Syston going into the new year.
Phoenix started quickly and scored a well worked try through centre Will Smith on five minutes which was converted by fly half Declan Cusack.
However, with a strong wind behind them, the hosts soon made their way into Phoenix territory and tied the scores with a converted try of their own.
Phoenix would have been content to go in level at the break but were unlucky to concede an unconverted try on 40 minutes which came from a catch and drive from a Nuneaton line-out five metres from the Phoenix line.
Phoenix started the second period brightly but were unable to breach a strong and determined home defence.
It was Nuneaton who scored next on the hour mark.
And that was quickly followed by a fourth try which took the game away from the visitors despite efforts by Phoenix to try and secure a losing bonus point.
Wheatley Hills went down 19-20 at home to Barnsley in Yorkshire Two.