Highland and Orkney were both beaten on the road and, while the islanders were expected to be given a severe test by promotion-seeking Lasswade, Highland were fancied to beat Edinburgh side RHC.
Highland were beaten 20-17 at RHC and head coach Davie Carson said: “We didn’t perform. It was the most disappointing outcome of the season. Our normally reliable pack was not firing on all cylinders, particularly in the second half. It’s a wake-up call for us if we want to be in the promotion mix. We picked up a losing bonus but our ambitions should be loftier if we intend to go up.”
The score was 10-10 at half-time, thanks to a brace of tries from Highland back rower Paddy Bryden. In the second half the home side took control up front, although the visitors kept in touch through a try from lock Nathan McLauglan, whose try was converted by Scott Fraser.
Despite the reverse, the Canal Park men remain in third, four points behind leaders Dumfries Saints, who were held to a 15-15 draw at home to Glasgow Accies.
Orkney head coach Paul Livingstone had no excuses after his side’s 63-0 defeat at Lasswade.
“After a long lay-off, it was like starting the season all over again,” he said. “We had some new faces in the side who never gave up but our defence was badly stretched all afternoon. We were not match fit.”
The islanders are now in eighth place but 25 points clear of the bottom two, Greenock Wanderers and Livingston, in the 12-team league.