Tasman Mako's development side have discovered the depth lurking within America's professional ranks beaten 21-29 by the Seattle Seawolves on on Monday (NZ time).
Playing the second and final match of its United States exhibition tour, Tasman were given a stern test of their depth and abilities against the two-time Major League Rugby champions at Tukwila, Washington.
The first half saw a physical contest in the rain that was dominated by the home side, courtesy of tries to hooker Stephan Coetzee - converted by Brock Staller - and a intercept try to Kiwi lock Brad Tucker.
As with last week's match against the Houston SabreCats, which the New Zealanders eventually won 29-19, Tasman found themselves on the wrong side of the half-time score, trailing 12-0.
However, the young Mako side made up of U19 and fringe players put themselves back in the contest straight after the break with two converted tries to loose forwards Jake Norris and Braden Stewart - countered by a penalty to Seawolves flyhalf Scott Dean - to draw within a point at 14-15.
Seattle then sought to close out the game as converted tries to Ross Neal and Joey Iosefa pushed the score out to 29-14 with 12 minutes left on the clock.
A further Tasman seven-pointer to Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta kept them in the hunt at 21-29 with five minutes to go. However, the Seawolves were able to hold the Mako in their own 22 over the final stages to complete the win.
While the Mako now heads home to New Zealand and pre-season training with their club sides, the Seawolves begin their MLR title defence against San Diego on February 4.