Havant paid the price for a lethargic display with a 24-12 London one south defeat at relegation-threatened Twickenham.
By the time the visitors woke up and started to play it was too late to salvage even a losing bonus-point.
Head coach Will Knight was disappointed to come away empty-handed and admitted having to field a much-changed team didn’t help.
‘We came up against a team fighting for their lives at the bottom and we failed to match them,’ he said.
‘It was Twickenham who had all the energy and intensity in the opening 60 minutes.
‘We didn’t get into our stride until the final quarter of the game and then it was a bit too late.
‘Basically it all boiled down to Twickenham wanting it more than we did.
‘Having to make all the changes we did meant we had a number of new combinations in the team.
‘Although the players coming in did okay, individually it takes time to gel units into the team.’
The home side came out all-guns blazing at the start and Havant hardly touched the ball in the opening 15 minutes.
A yellow card for a visiting forward after 13 minutes didn’t help and at the end of an error-strewn first half, the home side were 12-0 up.
Twickenham quickly added two more tries after the break to virtually seal their bonus-point win.
Only then did Havant stir themselves.
Replacement scrum-half Grant Morris claimed a try after a series of drives and debutant second-row James Lindsey grabbed a second five minutes from the end.
‘We tried to get back up to claim another score for a bonus point but we ran out of time,’ said Knight.
‘It is not easy to make wholesale changes and make it work.
‘We want to be giving players their opportunities by bringing them into a settled side.
‘Hopefully over the next few weeks we can get back to having a settled starting line-up.’
In Hampshire one, Petersfield crashed to a 35-22 defeat at Fordingbridge.